NOTE: Master Class columns are intended for ambitious home cooks, and some of the recipes may call for special ingredients or equipment. When that is the case, we will provide an alternative method for the main element of the dish so it can be prepared even without this ingredient or equipment.
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes plus marinating time
Note: This recipe calls for a vacuum-pack sealer. You can substitute a sealable plastic bag for this recipe, pressing out the air by hand.
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8 small Chioggia beets
3 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons (50 grams) canola oil
10 black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
6 thyme sprigs
4 teaspoons (20 grams) kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons (30 grams) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons (40 grams) sherry vinegar, divided
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the beets and trim the stems to about 1 inch.
2. Roast the beets: Place the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Add the canola oil, peppercorns, garlic, thyme and salt, tossing to combine. Wrap the beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast the beets until there is no resistance when they are pierced with a sharp knife, 25 to 50 minutes (timing will vary depending on the size of the beets). Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
3. When the beets are cool enough to handle, rub each warm beet with a paper towel to remove the skin. Trim away the stems and roots. Place the beets in a vacuum-pack bag and season with half of the olive oil and sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt, or to taste. Vacuum pack on high.
4. Refrigerate the beets for 8 to 12 hours to develop the flavors. Season with remaining olive oil and sherry vinegar just before serving.
Each serving: 122 calories; 1 gram protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 10 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 642 mg sodium.