Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Pickled Beets

Here we go again, another Fall... another batch of pickled beets!
I think this year's batch of pickled beets are my best yet, and here is my recipe:

6 lbs beets (or so)
2 C white vinegar
2 C water
4 C brown sugar
3-4 Tbsp. pickling spice tied into 2-3 cheesecloth "sachets"

A tip before you start:
Make sure everything involved is good and hot, that way you'll have no problem getting your lids to seal!

Start by getting your beets! The beets here are my rather large beets grown in my garden.

Wash the beets, and cut off both ends. Continue to peel them with a sharp pairing knife and slice into bite size pieces. 

Most people boil their beets, but I'm anti-boiling as I believe you lose flavour. Last year I roasted them in a tented tin foil pan, 400 degrees for 45-60 mins (until tender). This year I steamed them. Either way works good!

At some point along the way, get your brine going. Simply put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for a while... like 15 mins or so. This picture is hilarious... I realize the pickling spice "sachets" resembles ... something. Anyhow, neither here nor there... the sachets are awesome because you get the pickling spice flavour without the chunks and flakes of pickling spice on your beets. 

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 225 degrees, then "bake" your clean jars for 10 mins to sterilize them.

oops, I forgot to take a pic... but you must also boil the sealing discs (lids) in a small pot for 10 mins or so. 

Fill your jars with your cooked, sliced beets up to the start of the rim. Then ladle your hot brine over the beets, covering them. Make sure you leave 1/2" or so from the top of the jar. When they are complete, dampen a paper towel and wipe the tops of the jars. Make sure they are clean! Using tongs, place the sealing discs on the jars directly from the boiling water. 

Voila! Beautiful pickled beets!