A tasty, tangy pickled beet will add colorful character and flavor to your dinnertime menu. Pickling beets is easier than you might think!
- After harvesting beets, wash them well.
- Do not peel beets and leave 1 inch of stem and roots to prevent color bleeding.
- Cover with boiling water and cook until tender - about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Drain, discard liquid and cool beets.
- Trim off roots and stems; slip off skins.
- Small beets can be pickled whole. Larger beets can be sliced in ¼ inch slices or diced.
To make pickling brine, combine vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a stainless steel, enamelware, or glass saucepan. Put spices in cheesecloth bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil, add beets (and onions if desired) and simmer for 5 minutes.
Have clean pint-sized, canning jars ready. Prepare two-piece lids and rings according to instructions on lid box.
Fill jars with beets and onions, leaving ½ inch headspace. Add hot vinegar solution, covering beets, and allowing ½ inch headspace. Run a thin spatula through jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel. Add caps and bands. Place filled jars on a rack in a water bath canner. The tops of the jars should be covered with 1 inch of water. Process for 30 minutes. Begin timing as soon as the water begins to boil. You can use this process for the following recipe.
- 7 lbs of 2 to 2 1/2 inch diameter beets
- 4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
- 1 ½ teaspoons canning or pickling salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 12 whole cloves
- Sliced onion (optional)
Yield: About 8 pints
Store jars in a cool, dark place and let set for 6-8 weeks before opening.