Blogging Beetroot Pickles

I asked for help and you leapt in with your suggestions, ideas and support. The kindness and generosity of bloggers spirits never ceases to make me smile, you took the time to go and look up recipes in favourite books or jotted down your mum’s recipe for me. That is truly beautiful my friends. Isn’t life good !

My fridge pickles are mellowing or rather mellow-yellowing but I needed to make a start on the beetroot for storage.

I had a conundrum lots of recipes to try, I want to try them ALL but how to distinguish them? The answer lay in a Promenade style naming ceremony. Ever had a beetroot named after you? well maybe you have but you don’t know it yet.  I wrote names on sticky labels and attached them to their respective jars. Simples? Well yes and no. The only note of caution I would add to naming beetroot is that as I put them in their water bath they got a bit soggy and the writing is rather faint, legible but faint!

Marie’s Classic Pickled Beetroot recipe

in her words –

  • This brine will do about 3 pounds of beets, and you’ll want to cook them first, and then cut them into chunks.
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 inches of stick cinnamon
  • Put the spices into a muslin square, and tie them up.
  • Put the vinegar, water, and sugar in a saucepan, add the spice bag, and bring it to a boil
  • Lower the heat and simmer (uncovered) for 5 minutes.
  • Pack your cut-up beets into clean half-pint jars and pour the brine over them, leaving about a half-inch between the top of your jar and the brine.
  • Process them in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes (start timing after the water comes back to a boil).
  • Hope that helps!

It certainly did Marie ! Of course I had to have a little play around with the recipe, several of you suggested adding raw onion, thinly sliced in amongst the beetroot. Genius I thought. And then Smidge posted a recipe that had fine slithers of ginger added, I like the pungent heat of ginger so one jar had that added. Time will tell if my experiment worked, in my mind it looks pretty bloody pretty – I mean what’s not to like about stained pickled red ginger!

The next recipe I made was Joss’ her secret ingredient is Lemon slices and the bonus with this recipe is that it called for cider vinegar, something I had to hand. You see I’d used up my normal distilled vinegar (the clear stuff) so this fitted right into the kitchen set up.

Joss’ Lemony Pickled Beets recipe

in her words –

“I love pickled beets (we just call them beets in Canada) and put some up every year. So if you’re looking to can, here’s how I do it and imho, my pickled beets are the best! Did I mention how humble I am?”

  • You’ll need five lbs of beets.
  • In all honesty, I just kinda wing this part. So once you’ve cooked, peeled and sliced your beets.
  • You need to make a syrup of 2 cups of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. 2 cups of water. 2 cups of sugar, one lemon thinly sliced (don’t leave out the lemon, it’s the secret ingredient) and 1/2 tsp salt. Plus one tbs of mixed pickling spice in a muslin bag.
  • Bring syrup to a boil and boil for five minutes. Add cooked, prepared beets and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lemon slices and spice bag.
  • Pack beets in hot pint or quart jars ( I keep mine hot in the oven at around 200 degrees while I’m preparing the syrup). Pour hot syrup over beets bringing the liquid close to the top with about 1/4 inch of head space. Put on lids and screw bands , tighten and let cool.
  • I leave mine alone for a good month before eating.

I didn’t have any muslin bags to hand, I do have some muslin curtains in a trunk in the loft but thought better of hacking holes in the curtains and opted to directly add the spices to the vinegar-water solution and then strained them through a sieve and into a big bowl. It worked fine, the only downside I can see is that it creates a teeny bit more washing up.

And when I manage to get to the Supermarket, I avoid them at will, but the need for vinegar, sugar and salt is calling and the beetroot remaining in the ground really should start to be pulled, I plan to make Smidge’s (I know her name is Barbara but I can’t help but call her Smidge after her blog’s name) and Sawsan’s mums recipe. I also need more jars 🙂

The plan, if there is one, is that within a month I will have several different kinds of pickled beetroot recipes to try, store and give the surplus to friends. I don’t think I should try and post these jars, the gift of thank you to my fellow bloggers will have to remain in this blog.

Thank you !

Marie inhabits My Little Corner of Rhode Island and Joss occupies Crowing Crone Joss – pop in and say thanks !


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