Beetroot relish

There’s a cafe in North Melbourne, called Pocket, which serves a delicious breakfast bagel of bacon, fried egg, cheese and beetroot relish.  Inspired by this, and having finished a jar of chutney a friend had given us, I decided to make my own beetroot relish.

The recipe below is a combination of three online recipes.  Give it a go and feel free to tweak the ingredients to come up with your own version!  I’ve been using the relish in my own egg and bacon muffins, on home made hamburgers and with corned silverside.  It’s really quite versatile, so don’t be afraid to experiment.


  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 650g beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 strips orange rind


In a pan, add the mustard seeds and stir until they begin to pop. The recipes I had read warned that they would pop, but it wasn’t until I saw this in action that I understood what they meant. Beware – they will actually jump out of the pan!  I’d recommend putting a lid on the pan or holding a mesh anti-splatter guard over the top so you don’t lose the mustard seeds.

Once the mustard has started popping, add a little oil along with the onions and cook until translucent. Fortunately the oil helps to control the popping so the mustard shouldn’t escape after this step.

Cook the onion until translucent

Now, add all the other ingredients (beetroot, sugar, vinegar, spices and orange rind).  Cover and simmer the mixture for approximately 2 hours or until the beetroot is tender.  At this point the colour should change from bright red to a dark purple.  Don’t forget to stir regularly.  You don’t want it to be too watery, but if it looks like it’s drying out too much add a splash of water to keep it moist while cooking.

The beetroot will darken as it cooks

Once cooked, remove from the heat and discard the orange peel and star anise.

The best way to store your relish is in glass jars.  It’s important to sterilise the jars first.  To do this, wash them with hot soapy water, then placing them in an oven at 150°C for 15-20 minutes. The lids should also be sterilised. If they’re plastic or have a rubber backing (most metal lids do), they shouldn’t go in the oven as this will melt the plastic and rubber. Instead, boil the lids in a saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes while the jars are in the oven.

While the jars are still hot, carefully spoon the hot relish into the jars and seal. As the jars and relish cool, a vacuum will be created sealing the relish inside. If the lids are metal, you may even find they seal so well that you’ll hear a fresh ‘pop’ when you first open them.  The relish should keep for a number of months in the pantry, but make sure you keep it in the fridge once opened.

Beetroot relish served with corned silverside

To download a printable version of this recipe, click here.

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