Slow-roasted beef blade over organic baby beetroots with red wine and beetroot sauce

Slow-roasted beef blade over organic baby beetroots with red wine and beetroot sauce

William Meppem

Blade of beef is rarely seen on restaurant menus, but at the Botanical we have had a lot of success with this full-flavoured cut. The trick is slow roasting: the oven temperature must not exceed 180°C. In this recipe the baby beets act as a trivet for the meat, and roast beautifully in its juices. In turn, the beef makes an excellent platform for the delicate beetroot-flavoured sauce, which contrasts so well with our very popular horseradish relish – we replace the traditional whipped cream with a thick Greek-style yoghurt and lashings of Tabasco. Roast parsnips would be a welcome addition to this dish.


Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2kg boneless beef blade roast
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g organic baby beetroots, leafy tops on, very well washed and peeled
1 bunch thyme, leaves chopped
50g clear honey
100ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
1 quantity Potato and mushroom gratin
1 quantity Horseradish relish

Red wine and beetroot sauce

Quantity Ingredient
100ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
50g sugar
12 shallots of equal size
1 litre shiraz or pinot noir
300g beetroot, evenly chopped into 1 cm cubes
250ml Veal jus
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the sauce, combine the vinegar, sugar and shallots in a saucepan. Boil gently over a medium heat until nearly dry, then add the red wine and cook until reduced to about 150 ml. Strain and set aside the wine and shallots separately.
  2. Meanwhile, cover the diced beetroot with water, add a little salt and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Cover with a lid and simmer until the beetroot is very well cooked, for about 40 minutes. If the water reduces before the beetroot is cooked, top up with more water, but just to cover.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  4. Take the beef and massage it all over with extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan with olive oil over a high heat and sear the beef until well coloured on all sides.
  5. Place the baby beetroots and thyme in a lightly oiled roasting tray. Place the sealed beef on top of the beetroots and bake. After 1 hour remove the beef from the oven and cover with honey. Pour the vinegar around the beets and add the reserved shallots from the sauce. Return the beef on top of the vegetables and continue slow roasting for another 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, for medium–rare meat. If you prefer your meat well done, roast for up to 1 hour.
  6. Prepare the potato and mushroom gratin and relish.
  7. Drain the diced beetroot, which should be soft and well cooked by now, retaining the juices. Put the beetroot in a food processor and blend with the cooking juices and reserved wine reduction until they form a smooth, thin sauce.
  8. Bring the veal jus to the boil. Add the beetroot and red wine sauce, bring to the boil then adjust the seasoning and keep warm, covered with a lid until required.
  9. Once the beef is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest. Pour all juices from the roasting tray into a saucepan and reduce over a low heat to a light caramel. Brush the caramel over the beef. Remove the baby beets and shallots from the roasting tray and keep warm. Deglaze the roasting tray with the beetroot sauce and bring back to the boil, stirring any sediment off the bottom of the tray. Then pass through a sieve into a separate saucepan and reheat gently over a low heat – it will have become a full-flavoured, sweet and sour red wine sauce.
  10. To serve, carve the beef at the table. Sprinkle the baby beetroots with sea salt and serve on the side with the shallots and potato and mushroom gratin. Offer lots of sauce and the horseradish relish on the side.

Chef’s note

  • Root vegetable purées added to red wine reductions make interesting sauces. Try adding carrot or pumpkin purée to thicken a red wine reduction for a surprisingly complex but delicate sauce. Beetroot purée mixed with Dijon mustard also makes an excellent accompaniment to roasted and barbecued meat and smoked fish dishes.
high end
fine dining
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