Grilled Beets with Lemon Crème Fraîche Dip
- 10 medium beets (about 4 lb.), trimmed and washed
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 3 fl. oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs.) pale ale
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
In a large bowl, toss the beets and garlic with the ale, oil, thyme, and 2 Tbs. salt. Transfer to a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil and seal into a packet.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over low (300°F) heat. Grill the packet over the cool zone of the grill until the beets are completely tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 3 hours. (Alternatively, roast the beets in a 300°F oven for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.)--I cooked them at 350 for 2 hours--smaller and younger beets take less time
Remove the beets from the foil, peel them, and cut them into quarters. (Discard the garlic.) Transfer the beets to a serving bowl or platter.
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. Serve the beets warm or at room temperature with the lemon crème fraîche dip on the side.
Make Ahead Tips
The beets can be grilled a day ahead. Refrigerate and return to room temperature before serving.