Riverford and Beetroot + bay bourguignon

This week, Riverford are delivering three limited edition recipe boxes packed with everything you need – from the tiniest bottle of tomato puree to the most beautiful bunch of fresh beetroots – to make my all-time favourite autumn recipes. I have been eating their delicious fruit and veg for years, and it is a genuine pleasure to work with people who share my food philosophy. The recipe boxes are all about how I like to cook and eat. We all lead busy lives and for me it’s so important that we end our day with a flavour-packed, nourishing, vegetable-centred meal that’s not too fussy.

To celebrate, here is one of the recipes included in the box this week. I am often faced with feeding my strapping meathead friends a hearty dinner. Some think a meal without meat isn’t worth the plate it’s served on. I have always liked a challenge and I relish feeding reluctant vegetable eaters, especially working up something that calls for excited rounds of seconds and thirds.

This is now the dish for such a crowd, and it has found its way into my weeknight dinners too, as it is really super-easy – just 20 minutes’ work getting everything into the pan and then it blips away happily on its own. This is a bolstering dish, and sits well on some crushed olive-oil- dressed potatoes with a good glass of wintry red.


olive or rapeseed oil
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
8 small to medium beetroots, peeled and quartered
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into finger-length pieces
4 bay leaves
a few bushy sprigs of fresh thyme
250ml good red wine (Bordeaux if you have it)
1 litre good vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato purée
50g pearl barley
6 shallots or small onions, peeled and halved
3 large portobello mushrooms, roughly sliced

Get a big pot on the heat, add a glug of oil and cook the onions and garlic on a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and sweet.

Add the beetroots and parsnips and stir around for a couple of minutes, then add the herbs, wine, stock, tomato purée and pearl barley and bring to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the beetroots are soft. Turn the heat off and cover with a lid.

Heat another splash of oil in a large frying pan and add the shallots. Cook them for 10 minutes on a medium-high heat, until they have softened and are beginning to brown, then add the mushrooms and cook for another few minutes, allowing the mushrooms to brown on all sides.

Tip the shallots and mushrooms into the stew and serve with crushed potatoes and some perky greens. Oh, and more red wine.

Recipe taken from A Modern Way to Eat.
Image: Brian W Ferry

Posted: 17.10.15 3 Comments


Posted by Michelle dyer at 10:23 on the 15.02.17

Love this recipe and Anna’s books. She has changed the way I cook/ eat . Delicious healthy food.

Posted by Anna at 9:20 on the 22.02.17

Thanks so much Michelle, that’s so lovely to hear. AJ x

Posted by carol craddock at 12:49 on the 15.01.20

Thank you Anna, My husband and I went plant based 6 months ago and we love it , never thought my husband of 30yrs would give up meat but wish we had done it years ago, we really feel the health benifits of being meat free,we love all your reciepies but this one is his favourite.x

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