Yesterday I pickled peppers that were brought to me by Mike and Stephanie. In the bag of goodies there were also some nice looking beets. Once again the quantity delivered was more than I could possibly eat, so I pickled them. Pickled beets are a tradition at almost every major dinner so I figured I should try to make some. I will let you know in 3 weeks how they turned out.

Pickled beets
Pickled beets

Using cider vinegar instead of a harsher tasting distilled white vinegar will give these beets a nice smooth flavor.

Pickled Beets – (From The Joy of Pickling)

  • 7 pounds of beets, with their rootlets and 2 inches of their tops, well scrubbed
  • 2 four-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of all-spice berries
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pickling salt
  • 1 quart cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water

Boil the beets in a large pan for 15-35 minutes depending on the size of the beets.

Make sure they are covered in water
Make sure they are covered in water

At the same time bring a large stock pot or canning pot to a boil and place the jars, lids, and rings into the boiling water to sanitize them.  Boil for at least 15 minutes.  I usually let it go until I am ready to use them.

Drain the beets and cover them with cold water.

When cooling you will notice that the beets turn the water red.  Nothing wrong here, don't worry.
When cooling you will notice that the beets turn the water red. Nothing wrong here, don't worry.

When they are cool, trim the ends and slip off the out skins.  Then slice them into 1/4 inch thick rounds.

Slice into a quarter inch thick rounds
Slice into a quarter inch thick rounds

Tie the spices in a scrap of cheesecloth and place into a non-reactive saucepan along with the sugars, salt vinegar and water.  Bring the contents to a boil  and then reduce the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the mason jars from the boiling water and pack the beets into them.  Then pour the hot liquid over the beets leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Close the jars with the two piece lids and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

When processing the jars, make sure you have boiling water and that the jars are completely submerged.
When processing the jars, make sure you have boiling water and that the jars are completely submerged.

When done let the jars cool and then move them to a cool, dry, dark place for at least 3 weeks before eating.

Yep, more waiting.  I will give a report on the progress of these and the pickled peppers in three weeks.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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