red wine braised beets & cherries

the world of social media, blogging, podcasts and such boggles my mind. incredibly amounts of information (and misinformation) is posted daily to the web via a millions sources. i am just one of thousand of food blogs, contributing to the clutter of food porn and personal ramblings on the interwebs. i always figured my words and photos here would be lost amongst the hubbub. but the interconnectedness of this world wide web and ways in which it can actually draw people together has astounded me. 

in the past year, i've been introduced to new clients and fabulous new friends with shared interests who found me on instagram. i've developed relationships with other far away foodies and corresponded with blogging icons like molley yeh, to discuss our mutual obsessions with percussion and vintage dansk ware. i've been sent samples of incredible jamon iberico direct from spain and a box full of fine teas mailed from china from small businesses looking to connect globally with chefs and foodies. or most recently, getting interviewed for a radio station broadcasted in new york for their 'biology of a blog' program.

who knew so much could happen from hashtags and key words. 

during my recent radio interview (which you can listen to here ... i jump in at 15m:42s) i was asked to list a few favorite recipes from my blog. well it turns out, one of said favorite never actually made it onto the blog. i made this beet dish several times over the holidays, and photographed it before thanksgiving. i had intentions of posting the recipe, but then rushed off to orcas island for thanksgiving and forgot to post the recipe! whoops. 

anywho, i'm still a newbie with braising techniques, but it is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cooking techniques! so much so that i've been entrusted with the title of editor of the feed feed's braising feed (yet another magical connection made via instagram). this recipe is my way of turning beet-haters into lovers. i mean beet-lovers. although this recipe might just make someone fall in love with you, especially when paired with a good red wine. 

red wine braised beets & cherries
12 small to medium red beets
8 oz red wine 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch salt 
3/4 cup dried cherries 

notes: tart or sweet cherry varieties are both great, but preferably use unsweetened cherries (read the ingredients). use a red wine that you'll also enjoy drinking, since you'll only be using a glass for the recipe. you'll also need a dutch oven or baking dish large enough to lay beets down in a single layer without being too crowded. 

preheat oven to 350 degrees. trim and scrub clean the beets. no not peel. combine ingredients together in a dutch oven with a fitted lid, or tightly wrap foil over the top of a baking dish. bake (or braise, rather) in the oven for at least 45 minutes, then test firmness of beets with a fork. continue to braise until beets are fork tender, similar to the texture of a firm but ripe pear. depending on the size of beets, this may take up to 90 minutes. remove from oven and let cool in cooking liquid. 

you can either serve beets whole (or quartered) with skins intact. the dish will be more nutrient dense with the skin, but also more "earthy" flavored. for a more elegant presentation (or for folks who aren't yet fans of beets) i'd suggest removing the skins. once cooled, simply fish the beets out of the braising liquid (no not discard liquid!) and use a clean rag or paper towel to gently scrub off the skin. discard the skin, half or quarter the beets and return peeled beets to braising liquid. 

store and serve braised beets and cherries in the cooking liquid. serve chilled or at room temperature with a spoon so that guests can enjoy the sauce as well!