I hated beets when I was growing up, or at least I thought I did. I think it was more likely a typical kid scenario where I ate one once and didn’t like it, and swore that I just hated them. As an adult, I love beets. I love them as a side, on salads, in chip form… love the beets.
I especially love pickled beets, and it is a love that everyone (sans the husband) seems to share – from my grandmothers on down. I was always scared to make pickled beets, mostly because of the canning aspect. I finally decided one weekend that I was going to DO IT! And I did. And you know… water bath canning is pretty darn simple. Seriously.
But, don’t worry. I’m not going to try and convince you to can. I’d sit a jar of these babies in the fridge for a day and eat them that way too. Also, I’m not an expert on canning, so I’m not going to detail that process (sterilizing jars, etc.) and I’m going to assume that you will ask me for help, read about water bath canning, or are a canner already.
Beets are the obvious first ingredient. A lot of recipes for pickled beets call for you to boil the beets, but I prefer to roast mine in a foil pouch. The time depends on the size of your beets but I find roasting them at 400 degrees for about 40 mins to be sufficient.
Snip the ends off, wash the beets, and wrap them in a foil pouch to roast.
When you pull them from the oven, dump the entire pouch into ice water. The skins will peel right off.
Now… side note. Beet juice stains. Horribly. And I don’t know what it is about me, but it seems to stick to my hands like crazy. So, to prevent myself from having stained hands, I don some gloves…
After the beets are peeled, slice them. I like to halve the really big ones, but this is all a matter of person preference.
Once sliced, put into jars.
At this point, you need to have your brine going.
Just five ingredients, I got the recipe from Hickory Holler Farm. (They have a detailed post on how to can that you may find useful) I used ground allspice because that’s all I had on hand.
For the brine, combine:
2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 c. vinegar
1 1/2 c. water
Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 mins.
After 15 minutes, pour the brine over the beets.
Then I processed the jars.
And after sitting on the counter for 12 hours to seal and cool – they are ready!
I get that it’s a bit of a time consuming project. But they are delicious. My baby sister declared me the Beyonce of beets after tasting them, so… clearly they are delicious.