Thursday, June 30, 2016

Small Batch Pickled Beets

This is the first year we have ever been able to grow beets that actually developed a root!

I had to thin them out quite a bit along the way, so although I didn't end up with a ton, I still had enough to make one jar of pickled beets and have two or three batches left for regular cooking.

I just love pickled beets. It's one of my favorite types of pickled vegetables for sure and beets are so healthy for you I like to enjoy them any way possible.

I used a recipe from the TV show A Chef's Life, found on their website here. It was featured on the "beet" episode but instead of processing my beet jars I just stuck them inside the refrigerator instead since it was such a small batch and I knew I would eat them soon anyway.

One of the interesting things I remember them talking about was how important it was for flavor purposes to leave the beet greens on the roots when cooking them before canning the beets.

Beets cooking in the water with greens still on

Here is what you will need, taken directly from the website:

3 pounds beets
3 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 cloves
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon chili flakes
3 star anise

Place washed, skin-on beets in the bottom of 6 quart or larger pot. Cover the beets with water by 2 inches, and bring them up to a boil. Boil, covered for 20 minutes. Check to see if they are done by sliding a knife into the center. The beet should give just a little resistance. If the they are not done, continue cooking just until they are. Drain off the water and set the beets aside to cool.Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and slice the beets into 1/2 inch rounds. Position the rounds in wide-mouth canning jars. If you have rounds that are too wide to fit, cut them into half-moons, or quarters, or whatever you have to do to get them in there.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive, 3 quart saucepan and bring it up to a boil. Carefully pour the brine over the beets, making sure the beets are completely submerged in the liquid. At this point you could refrigerate the beets for up to 3 months without processing in a hot water bath. If you’d like to store them at room temperature and keep them longer, follow the directions on (pg. 00) and process the jars for 5 minutes. 

the brine for the beets

What is your favorite way to cook and eat beets? 

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