Beets are one of my favourite vegetables. They are so easy to grow, grow beautifully in a container or in the garden, come in so many colours and shapes and even striped. I also enjoy that the entire plant is edible, the tops are great steamed with vinegar and butter, and although a roasted beet is a delicious thing what I really crave is a pickled beet with lots of cloves.
This recipe is very versatile. I will give the small batch amounts, but know that you can scale this recipe up quite easily. This round I have processed 4 times the amounts listed so you might just get a jar of beets for Christmas.
You will need:
10 medium beets; about 3 ½ pounds
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup of water
1 cup of vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of cloves
To prep your beets, give them a good wash and cut off the tops, save them for dinner. Boil beets for 45 minutes, this will cook them and make it easy to remove the skins.
While they’re boiling it’s a good time to prep all your jars by cleaning them and starting a few of them boiling up in a big pot. Start heating up all your lids and rings in a smaller pot on medium heat. Do this on your back two burners, as you’re about to have all four going at once.
Its also time to make your brine. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cloves in a pan and boil until sugar and salt are dissolved. You’ll need to strain out most of the cloves or put them in cheesecloth or a tea ball. Keep it going on low heat.
After 45 minutes, plunge your beets into cold water. You should now be able to rub the skins off with your hands. Do this under running water or in a full sink and your hands won’t stain. Not that there’s anything wrong with purple hands. Have a knife and peeler on hand to get rid of any rough spots.
Cut the beets into slices or wedges.
Now pack your boiled jars with the beets and cover with brine. I like to throw 1 or 2 cloves in with each jar. You need to leave ¼ inch of room at the top and make sure the jar lips are clean.
Put the lids on, finger tight, and heat process for 10 minutes.
Then find a nice cool place out of direct sunlight to store them. This recipe is nice because you can eat them almost right away, or wait a few weeks and they’ll get even better.
I really like these short jars as they fit just enough to finish at one meal, therefore perfect for a potluck. They are 8 oz wide mouth Ball elite jars.
As with all canning recipes, please follow safe canning practices.