Grilling the beets in a foil packet with garlic, beer, and fresh thyme infuses them with extra flavor.
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.)
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.
nutrition information (per serving):
16, Fat Calories
150, Saturated Fat
5, Monounsaturated Fat
23, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Lisa Romerein