May 17 2016

Braised Beet Pepperoni

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Over the winter I was heavily inspired by the work Chef Roy Elam was doing with beets. On Instagram he was posting “Beets 3 Ways” with things like smoked beets, pickled beets, roasted beets…the list goes on. He made beets look so attractive that I started wondering why I had forsaken them. I’d tried them roasted, grilled, raw…but nothing was good. All I tasted was dirt.

The more I looked at beets the more I thought about slicing them thinly would render them in a perfectly circular shape…like pepperoni or sausage. I may also be a little obsessed with trying to make vegan sausage as many ways as possible and the idea of doing it with a whole vegetable greatly appeals to me. I decided to give beet pepperoni a shot and I was blown away. The dirt taste was gone, it absorbed all the flavors of the marinade. The texture was perfect, not too hard, not mushy. I couldn’t have asked for a better result so I wanted to share the method and preparations for beet pepperoni. In this picture I used golden beets but I’ve since done it with regular ‘ol red beets and it’s still delicious, the golden ones give a better visual probably. Enjoy on a pizza, on a cracker, on a bagel, in a wrap, on a sandwich, whatever you’re feeling. They’re pretty tasty cold but best served warm.

The Method: Braising

You can read this online, just the same I did but if you don’t feel like digging around here’s what it is: lightly frying something at a high temperauter then slowly cooking it, covered, in a sauce, marinade, broth, etc. That’s what we’ll be doing with these beets. It’s an application you can apply to a million different foods so please do explore it further!

Bonus Points

If you want to take this a bit further try salting the beet slices first and letting them sit around for a few hours then pat them dry. They’ll absorb way more of the flavor and have a bit of a different texture.

Total Time to Prepare: 1 hour 15 minCooking Time: 1 hourServes: 10


  • 3 beets (medium sized, golden, red, whatever)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cayenne (flakes are great!)
  • 2 stars of anise
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cups water


  1. Combine everything except the beets in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Wash the beets and slice them thinly using a mandoline or your serious knife skills.
  3. Put the beats in a container that can handle the hot marinade.
  4. Pour the marinade over the beets and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight in your covered dish.
  5. Remove the beets from the marinade and sauté them in some oil, your choice but I suggest grapeseed.
  6. Don't cook them too long in the oil, we just want to get a bit of a browning.
  7. Add the marinade, bring to a boil, reduce to a medium-low heat, cover and let simmer for about an hour or so until most of the liquid is gone.
  8. Store in the fridge or freeze for later use. Pan fry them when ready to eat again or just put them atop a pizza before baking.