Harvard Beets

This recipe for Harvard beets is equally good when made with freshly cooked or canned beets.
You can serve delicious sweet-and-sour beets over cooked beet greens, or with pork chops as a side dish. Use a double boiler to create the sauce of smooth consistency.

Harvard Beets Recipe

Harvard beets


  • 1 pound 12 ounces cooked (4-5 medium-size beets), or canned red beets (about 3 cups sliced)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cider vinegar or dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade (optional), or
  • ½ teaspoon cider vinegar for serving

  1. Slice or dice cooked or canned beets.
  2. In the top of a double-boiler stir until smooth sugar, wine, starch, salt and cloves. Cook over simmering water, stirring, until clear.
  3. Add the beets and let them stand over hot water, off the heat, for about 30 minutes. Just before serving, reheat the beets just until heated through. Add butter and marmalade.

6 servings

Use less sugar and serve with cider vinegar rather than marmalade if you prefer less sweet and more sour-tasting beets.

If you don’t have a double boiler, make the sauce in a saucepan on a very low heat, stirring constantly, so that it does not become lumpy. Or, make your own double boiler by putting a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.

Adopted from Joy of Cooking

For a cold version of sweet-and-sour beets, try a Pickled Beet Salad.

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