Anybody who knows me knows that I love beets. Beets tend to be hit or miss with most people but I can't get enough. They can be sweet, salty, vegetarian, (gluten free!), help lower blood pressure, lower your risk for heart disease, and much more. One might say that they can't be... beet.
I especially love pickled beets, but have had a hard time finding a reasonably priced non-canned version (though I have no problems with canned pickled beets).
This recipe only took me a couple hours to get a large jar in the fridge. The most difficult part was waiting for them to pickle for a week! After tasting them, you'll find that they are a nice tender beet with a mild pickle flavor. Give them a try and put your own spin on them!
Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies
You'll need the following:
- 1 lb beets (6 small beets)
- white vinegar
- granulated sugar
- bay leaves
- black peppercorns
For supplies you'll want:
- medium saucepan
- small saucepan
- 1 qt mason jar - wide mouth helps a lot
- cutting board and knife
Step 2: Cook the Beets
I began by rinsing all of my beets (getting any excess dirt off), and placing them in a medium pot. Pour just enough water so they were all covered. I brought the water to a boil, then covered it and turned the heat down so it was just at a simmer. Let them cook for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
Drain some of the water out, and cool down the beets by running cold water over them for a few minutes.
Once properly cooled (aka you can handle them very easily), grab a beet and trim the top and bottom off. and you'll find that the skin nearly slides off by rubbing it off with your fingers. Take all the skin off (effectively peeling it) and slice your beet into 1/4" to 1/2" slices (depending on how big you like your beet). Make sure that they are all the same thickness to get a uniform flavor.
Finish peeling and slicing all of your beets!
Step 3: Brine Time!
Start making your brine (what gives the beets their additional flavor) by pouring 1/4c sugar and 1/2c white vinegar into a small saucepan and bring them to a boil while stirring. Once they start boiling, take the pan off of heat and add the rest of your ingredient in:
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp salt
- any other spices you want!
*This is a basic brine and could be used with lots of other vegetables for refrigerator pickling!*
Let your brine cool down to room temperature (this could be done while you are peeling and chopping your beets for maximum efficiency, but it doesn't take too long to make this).
Step 4: Drop the Beet(s Into a Jar)
Put all of your beet slices into a quart mason jar... or at least all of the ones you haven't snacked on yet. Pour your cooled brine on top of the beets, and top it off with filtered water so that the liquid is just covering the top of the beets. We want all of them submerged for maximum flavor!
Step 5: The Hardest Part!
Put your jar in the back of the fridge (to remove all temptation) and wait 4-7 days before digging in. It's tough but totally worth it! After waiting a week, I find that my beets are mildly pickled and delicious! The only thing that I don't like is how quickly they go!
What kind of extra spices do you like to put in your pickled vegetables? Thanks for reading!