Beetroot Jelly

Beetroot Jelly

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 500mls beef stock
  • 500mls water
  • 250mls Marsala wine
  • 650-750g raw beetroot, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, thickly sliced and washed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves

To finish and serve the jelly:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 3 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water until soft
  • 250g ready cooked and peeled beetroot, cut into chunks [choose beetroot that is untouched by vinegar, otherwise cook your own]
  • 3-4 tbsp horseradish cream [see below]
  • Finely chopped chives

 

For the horseradish cream:

  • 75g piece of fresh horseradish root, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150mls soured cream
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 1 leaf gelatine, soaked in cold water until soft

Method

  1. Now, pour the stock, water and port into a roomy, deep pan and put onto a low heat.
  2. Place the beetroot, carrots, leek and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and pulse all together until quite finely chopped.
  3. Tip into the warming stock and water and stir together. Add the salt, celery salt, peppercorns, bay, cloves and sugar and also stir them in. Simmer all of this gently for 1 hour, covered, stirring occasionally and removing any scum. 
  4. Strain the mixture into a clean pan through a colander and leave to drip for a good 5 minutes, then leave to become completely cold; you should now have a ruby-red broth. 
  5. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until almost stiff, then tip in the minced beef and slowly mix the mince into the egg whites until loosely blended together. Carefully tip this into the cold beetroot broth and slowly mix in thoroughly; I use my hand to do all this. 
  6. Now place the pan over a moderate heat and slowly begin to bring the broth up to a simmer, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes. Now leave this mess - it does look quite unpleasant - to gently find its own level and slowly rise to the top of the broth as a kind of dirty raft. Once again, take this process very slowly. In several minutes you will see the broth start to push up through the beef 'raft' in several places; it is this mixture of albumen in both the egg whites and the raw beef which will, eventually produce a crystal clear, ruby jellied consommé. 
  7. Now leave the broth to putter away for about 25 minutes, but don’t let it boil.
  8. Meanwhile, take the cooked beetroot and grate it into a large bowl. Add the softened gelatine leaves to this, stir them in and put the bowl to one side. 
  9. Once the beetroot broth is looking clear beneath the raft, remove from the heat. Line a sieve with muslin [or a thin but clean old tea towel] and place it over the bowl with the grated beetroot beneath. Now, carefully push a portion of the raft aside and, using a ladle, decant the clear ruby broth through the muslin. Continue with this until there is none left; even tilt the pan to get to the very last spoonful. 
  10. Once all the broth has passed through the muslin-lined sieve, remove it and also discard exhausted beetroot mulch. To remove the thin layer of fat from the surface of the liquid, lay a piece of kitchen roll on top and then slowly lift out again. Now, lazily mingle the grated cooked beetroot into the clear broth with a spoon and allow both to infuse together until cool. 
  11. Finally - simply pass this through a sieve into something as practical as a Tupperware container that can then have its lid attached and popped into the fridge for around two hours to then become perfectly cool and jellied as the good lord of gastronomy intended. 
  12. Now to make the horseradish cream. Tip the grated horseradish into a bowl and add the sugar, salt and soured cream. Mix together and then put into the fridge and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. 
  13. Place a fine sieve over a bowl and tip the mixture out of the bowl into it. Take a small ladle and force the creamy liquid from the horseradish mulch through the sieve to end up with a completely smooth horseradish-flavoured cream. 
  14. Now stir in the double cream and gelatine.
  15. Pour into a small plastic lidded pot and put in the fridge to set. When you wish to use the cream, simply give it a brief whisking, which will transform it into a kind of pouring 'sauce'. 
  16. To serve, first chill four [preferably glass] bowls in the freezer for a few minutes. Lazily loosen the jelly a little with a metal spoon until wobbling and lovely, then ladle out four servings. Top each one with about a tablespoon of the horseradish cream then sprinkle over some finely chopped chives.