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Sweet, spicy, slow baked beetroot recipe – the perfect accompaniment for roast lamb

baked beetrootDanny’s face fell ten years ago when John Coe stepped proudly into the cottage with a carrier bag bursting with home grown beetroot.

Later he admitted that he hated beetroot. He imagined that beetroot had to be transmogrified to that vinegary stuff in jars. I made him beetroot soup and he loved it so much that we overdosed.

Many beetroot free years have passed since then. To my surprise and delight D returned last week with a small box of “Sweetfire” beetroot from the “condemned food counter” in our local Tesco. This is wonderful stuff. Sweetfire is a trademarked marinade. Sweet and spicy and great chopped into a salad or just guzzled straight from the pack as Danny discovered that evening.

Some friends dropped by recently with baby beetroot harvested from their own patch. This evening I was determined to bake these to accompany our breast of lamb and quince roast. We are back to the drawing board on the lamb but the baked beetroot was superb and the perfect accompaniment to lamb.

Unfortunately the discounted price stickers obscured the ingredients of the “Sweetfire” recipe. I could only read “White wine vineg… extra virgin olive oil, chilli extract.” So I made up the rest of the recipe.

Perhaps this was a lucky break as the beetroot was wonderful, dead easy and I was chuffed when Danny scraped the juices from the dish. The chilli just smouldered and allowed the sweetness of the beetroot to come through – D doesn’t like things to be too spicy. Double the cayenne for extra voompf.

Sweet, spicy slow baked beetroot recipe


  • 225g of baby beetroot, washed and topped, tailed and peeled. Or the same amount of more elderly beetroot (the same washing, topping, tailing, peeling treatment) and then sliced into 2 cm chunks.
  • 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 0.25 tsp of cayenne pepper (0.5 tsp for the chilli initiated)
  • 0.5 tsp of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 tsp of white wine vinegar


  1. Prepare the beetroot.
  2. Combine the olive oil, cayenne pepper and garlic in a small ovenproof pan that has a lid. Turn the beetroot through the mixture and bake in a low oven (160c, 140c fan) for 40 – 60 minutes with the lid on.
  3. When the beetroot is soft and yielding pour over the white wine vinegar and fresh lemon juice and turn over the beetroot to absorb. Add a decent twist of freshly ground black pepper.

This dish will happily keep in a warm spot for half an hour or so as you prepare and cook your other vegetables.

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  1. Carol Kirkup

    Can’t believe my luck finding this recipe. I did exactly the same as you, bought sweet fire beetroot from Tesco discount shelf to give them a try (I hate pickled beetroot with a passion too!) and absolutely gobbled them up and wanted to recreate. So came on line to search suitable recipes, and bingo!!! Thanks so much. Will be planting beetroot in our allotment next year now?

  2. Found your site today and have spent all morning preserving. Re using up beetroot, I have found that you can substitute grated raw beetroot for carrot in carrot cake recipes (Delia’s works well) and it looks and tastes fantastic.

  3. suneya harvey

    The French never boil their beetroot, they say it destroys the flavour. Rather do as they do, dab on a little olive oil to the cleaned beets, wrap them in foil and roast as you would a potato. When cooked peel them while hot slice and pour over olive oil and a smidgeon of balsamic vinigar. Superb!

  4. kate (uk)

    Slice your beetroots, sprinkle with fresh rosemary and olive oil, cover and roast-dead easy and fabulous with lamb.

  5. Howling Duck Ranch

    Huh, just what I need now that I’m about to harvest the last of my beets tomorrow! Nice looking recipe.

  6. samantha winter

    Hi Fi
    The Wilf one does not like too much of the hot stuff either but he does like beetroot. A must try dish.

  7. Hi – love your blog, which I’ve only just discovered. You might be interested to know that the Sweetfire beetroot you found in Tesco is mostly grown and all cooked not very far from you, in the Cambridgeshire Fens! The Sweetfire marinade is natural, but from a type of chilli that gives a consistent heat (most vary so much there’s a risk of the occasional batch blowing your socks off), so your use of cayenne is a canny substitute!

  8. I love beetroot, either freshly prepared at home or from a jar – as long as it isn’t crinkle cut. I honestly think the only thing you should crinkle cut are chips. I loathe it when you go to a restaurant and you get crinkle cut carrots – that’s even worse than beetroot! Have you tried the raw beetroot salad recipe that I gave you a while ago yet?

  9. Just like Danny, I lived for years thinking I hated beetroot, because I only ever had the pickled stuff from a jar. Then I went to Finland and had a vegetable dish that contained beetroot and fell in love!

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