Feature

Season 3, Episode 6: If You Can’t Beet ‘Em

 

 

Matt from Crooked Fence Produce shows Vivian how to make “the best pickled beets she ever ate.” Vivian incorporates beets into an unconventional chocolate cake in honor of Ms. Mary’s 89th birthday party. There’s no telling how Ms. Lillie will respond.

Vivian’s Cooking Demo

 

Vivian’s Featured Recipe

Pickled Beets

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This pickled beet recipe is courtesy of Chef Vivian Howard, and is featured in the If You Can't Beet Em ... episode of Season 3 of A Chef's Life.

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Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beets
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 star anise

Directions

  1. Place washed, skin-on beets in the bottom of 6 quart or larger pot. Cover the beets with water by 2 inches, and bring them up to a boil. Boil, covered for 20 minutes. Check to see if they are done by sliding a knife into the center. The beet should give just a little resistance. If the they are not done, continue cooking just until they are. Drain off the water and set the beets aside to cool.
  2. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and slice the beets into 1/2 inch rounds. Position the rounds in wide-mouth canning jars. If you have rounds that are too wide to fit, cut them into half-moons, or quarters, or whatever you have to do to get them in there.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive, 3 quart saucepan and bring it up to a boil. Carefully pour the brine over the beets, making sure the beets are completely submerged in the liquid. At this point you could refrigerate the beets for up to 3 months without processing in a hot water bath. If you’d like to store them at room temperature and keep them longer, follow the directions on (pg. 00) and process the jars for 5 minutes.

Tips/Techniques

Note: Baby, big, golden, red or chiogga beets were equally well here. Just make sure your beets are all about the same size and color for the best end product.

Yield: makes 6 pints

 

More Episodes

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 1: Stop, Squash and Roll

Episode 1: Stop, Squash and Roll

Vivian seeks motherly advice from Mrs. Scarlett and her sister Johna over dinner. Premiered September 5. Check local listings. Continue

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 2: Pretty in Peach

Episode 2: Pretty in Peach

Mrs. Scarlett teaches Vivian the secrets of Gramma Hill’s canned peaches and shares fond fried chicken memories from her own childhood. Premiered September 12. Check local listings. Continue

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 3: Gettin' Figgy With It

Episode 3: Gettin’ Figgy With It

Vivian is under the gun to pen an entire book chapter on figs in three days. The stress inspires a fig and honey bourbon slushie tasting with Warren and a fig preserves session with Ms Rose. Premiered September 19. Check local listings. Continue

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 4: Pickle Perfect

Episode 4: Pickle Perfect

Vivian visits her friend Nancy for a surprisingly comforting combination of homemade pickles, chicken salad, and chocolate cake. Ben and Vivian audition a new chef to offer Ben some relief and much-needed time to focus on his art. Premieres September 26. Check local listings. Continue

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 5: Prickly Business

Episode 5: Prickly Business

Vivian’s mentor, Scott Barton stops by the restaurant to peruse the kitchen and share the African roots of okra. Thanks to Warren, Vivian learns that picking okra is a prickly business. Premieres October 2. Check local listings. Continue

 

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