Cook these wonderful two recipes with beetroot this autumn - making chrain and a delicious beetroot salad
Salt brisket with chrain and a potato salad
700g-750g piece of salt brisket,rinsed
2 large carrots, thickly sliced
2 onions, one stuck with 5 cloves
2 sticks celery, in short lengths
2 bay leaves
1tspn black peppercorns
For the chrain
3 medium-sized cooked beetroots, peeled and cut into chunks
3tbspn freshly grated horseradish
1tbspn balsamic vinegar
1 level tbspn caster sugar
Salt to taste
For the potato salad
2tbspn smooth Dijon mustard
2tbspn red-wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
A little warm water
200ml sunflower oil mixed with 125ml olive oil
700g waxy potatoes, unpeeled
2tbspn chopped spring onions
1tbspn finely chopped parsley
Place the brisket in a roomy pot, cover with cold water and slowly bring to a gentle simmer. Once the surface of the water is covered with a light layer of scum and the water is just about to simmer, lift out the brisket with a slotted spoon and rinse under a cold running tap. Discard the water, clean out the pot and return the rinsed brisket to it.
Now, add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover everything with fresh water and, once more, bring up to a gentle simmer. More scum will settle on the surface, so this time, remove it with a spoon. Once this is done, allow the brisket to putter gently for about 1½-2 hours. After 90 minutes, check it from time to time by running a thin skewer right through the meat; as soon as there is little to no resistance, the brisket is ready. While the brisket cooks, prepare the chrain and potato salad.
For the chrain, simply place all the ingredients in a food pro-cessor and whizz until almost smooth. Tip into a bowl and pop in the fridge.
Put the potatoes to simmer in salted water. When evenly cooked through, drain and leave until you’re able to handle them, then peel; peeling potatoes while they are still warm is easier and, furthermore, warm potatoes soak up the dressing much better than when cold. Roughly cut the potatoes into a serving dish, sprinkle the spring onions and parsley over them, then spoon the following dressing over them and deftly mix.
Put the mustard, vinegar, seasoning and a couple of table-spoons of warm water into
a small blender. Process until smooth and then start adding the oils in a thin stream. When the dressing is pale and creamy, have a taste. If you think it’s too thick, add a little more water; the consistency should be that of thin salad cream.
Knole beetroot salad
8-12 small to medium beetroots (preferably in a bunch)
For the tarragon cream dressing
Scant dessert spoon of caster sugar
3-4tbspn tarragon vinegar
Pinch of salt
100ml single cream
1dspn of freshly chopped tarragon, plus a few extra tiny leaves to garnish the salad
Remove leaves and wispy stalks from beetroot and discard. Wash the beets and place them in a roomy, stainless-steel pot. Cover with water, generously add salt and the teaspoon of sugar. Simmer until tender-about an hour.
For the dressing, beat together the egg, caster sugar and vinegar in the top of a double boiler, or in a stainless-steel or china bowl suspended over barely sim-mering water until thick, mousse-
like, and the whisk leaves trails through the mixture (use an electric hand whisk for the speediest results).
Remove from the heat and occasionally beat until lukewarm. Add the cream to the egg mixture, together with the chopped tarragon and whisk together until lightly creamy. Put to one side and leave to cool.
Once the beetroots are cooked, drain and leave to cool. Remove their skins and cut into quarters (or sixths if they’re on the large side). Arrange into a pretty dish, spoon the dressing over them and decorate with the extra tarragon leaves. Very nice as a first course, with buttered rye bread.
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