Pic of Beetroot relish

Beetroot relish

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Sauces, conserves & preserves

Beetroot relish

Side Serves 4 1h 30 min
A full-flavoured and easy-to-make relish. Leave this for a month before eating it to let the flavours mellow. This goes well with strong tasting meats, particularly terrines and game, and with mature cheeses. Or stir through a little Greek yoghurt for a dip for pittas.


  • 1kg raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely shredded (thin julienne strips are ideal if you have a mandolin or food processor that will do this)
  • 750g red or white onions, finely sliced
  • 750g apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 500ml red wine vinegar or cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
  • 500g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp peeled and freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp paprika or cayenne
  • 1 level tsp ground cloves
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • a splash of port (optional)
Image of Beetroot relish


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1h 15 min
  • Step 1

    Put all the ingredients in a large stainless steel preserving or heavy-based pan, or use a large enamelled cast-iron casserole dish. Don't use any other metal pan, as the vinegar may react with it.
  • Step 2

    Heat the mixture until boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the beetroot is tender and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
  • Step 3

    Remove the cinnamon sticks. Pot the relish into warm, sterilised jars; fill almost to the brim and seal immediately (we used a kilner jar for our front cover photo, but you should use vinegar-proof lids). Once cooled, label and store in a cool, dark place; it should keep for a few months.
  • Step 4

    Once opened, keep in the fridge and eat within a week.

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