Gayle Sherrod was one of our original customers at the Newton Farmers'
Market. She's a discriminating cook and an absolutely lovely person
whom we've missed since her move to Florida several years ago. We
were thrilled to see her back in Newton in October when she returned
to enjoy New England's fine foliage and our very special little
market. Gayle had created this recipe years ago and reminded me
of it when we reconnected. It is superb!
Preheat oven to 375.
Pour the oil into a 5 quart Dutch oven. Add the beets and stir
to coat. Cover and bake, stirring occasionally, until a knife easily
pierces a beet, about 1-1/2 hours. Cool to room temperature; peel.
Combine vinegar, butter and sugar and set over high heat. Bring
to a boil, then lower the heat slightly and simmer until the liquid
is reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the beets and continue
to cook, rolling the beets in the liquid until the sauce is very
thick and syrupy, about 7 minutes. Season generously with pepper.
Note from Gayle: I steamed the beets in my microwave, thereby
eliminating the oil, but most important, I didn't heat the kitchen,
and I wanted them for dinner within the hour!!