Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Harvard Beets

I love Harvard Beets.  There is just something about the sweet tangy sauce, and the memories that come to mind of my dad when I make these.  I think I have always liked them.  My kids do eat them but it has taken years for them to actually enjoy the beets.  There were many times I would say just take one bite, but now they will serve themselves a helping without any prompting from me.  I usually eat this with my favorite comfort meal....pork chops baked in mushroom soup, rice and Harvard beets.  The combination of that mushroom gravy, the rice and the beets is delicious and when you pile that all onto one bite on top of a little pork for me it is heaven.  Last night I did not make my comfort meal.  I was planning a roasted chicken with potatoes and beets but my plans got de-railed when an unexpected 3 hour errand had to be taken care of.  So on my way out the door I threw the chicken in the crock pot and poured a can of green chili sauce over the top.  Even doing that it was still 7:00 at night before we were eating!  Dinner was delicious though.  I shredded that chicken up, thickened the green chili sauce like a gravy and put the chicken back into it.  Fried come crispy diced potatoes and made the Harvard beets.  We ate that green chili chicken over the crispy potatoes and had the beets on the side...and it was good!  This is a good time of year for this post because of all the garden produce coming available.  I will walk you through the raw beet from your garden rather than making these from a can.  There are no additives to these beets and they tasted just as good as the canned variety.  Of course you can use canned beets ... just skip the first few steps if you do.

First I washed the dirt off the beets and cut off the stem and the root ends.  Then I took a vegetable peeler and peeled the skins off the beets.  I find by doing it this way there is less of a mess with the beet juice then boiling them with the skins on.  I diced the beets and put them into my pressure cooker and covered them with water.  I have included a picture of my pressure cooker because I just love it!  It is the perfect size and cooks these so fast....the only drawback?  Little splatters of beet juice in the kitchen from the spray of steam coming out - but easy to handle with a little clean up!
Once the pressure was built up I cooked the beets for 25 minutes.  I turned off the heat on the stove and let it sit until the pressure was released...about 5 minutes.
These are my cooked beets and beautiful beet juice. 
Separate your beets from your juice saving your liquid.
Since I did this early in the morning I covered the dishes with plastic and put them in the fridge, but this would be an excellent time to make the Harvard beets while things are still hot. Fortunately for me I had them cooked early or they would not have made it
 to the dinner table last night. 

Here is where I went wrong......in my rush to make dinner because it was so late, I completely forgot about wanting to post this recipe on the blog.  So, unfortunately the pictures stop here.  BUT I decided to post the recipe anyway because anyone who likes to read a food blog probably likes to cook and can follow a simple recipe.  My recipe comes from my favorite Better Homes and Garden's cook book.  I have made no changes to this recipe so it is technically theirs.

Harvard Beets

4 regular beets or 1 (16 oz) can of beets
2 T. Sugar
2 T. Vinegar
2 tsp. Cornstarch
1 T. Margarine or Butter

(I have already given you instructions above for cooking fresh beets)
Drain liquid from beets reserving 1/3 C. of the liquid.  In a medium saucepan combine the reserved liquid, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch.  Cook until thick.  Stir in butter and beets. Cook and stir until beets are heated through.  Makes 4 servings.

I hope you enjoy Harvard Beets as much as I do.  If it is something new then give it a try - you might be surprised at how much you like them!

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