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Recipe for
Betaceos Varronis
(Beets with Chicken)

By Apicius, 3.2.4

An accompaniment for any meal

Original: Betaceos sed nigros, quorum detersas radices et mulso decoctas cum sale modico et oleo, ul sale, aqua et oleo in se coques, iusculum facies et potabis; melius erit, si in eo pullus sit decoctus.

Translation: "For Varro Beets, take black beets and clean the roots well.  Cook them with mead and some salt and oil.  Boil them down until the liquid is saturated - this liquid makes a nice drink.  It is also nice to cook a chicken with this."


  • 10 small beets
  • Mead or Sweet White Wine
  • Olive oil
  • Part cooked chicken pieces


  • Put whole, small beets into a saucepan.
  • Add mead or sweet wine, olive oil, and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to the boil and add chicken pieces, and cook til done.
  • The chicken can often become coloured red from the beets. This is normal.
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