PICKLED BEETROOT

Whole, sliced, wedges or diced. Pickled beetroot are ready to eat from the jar – and certainly a favourite in our household! Beetroot are very easy to pickle – and perfect for preserving your homegrown produce when they’re all harvested at once. Enjoy pickled beetroot hot or cold: add them to burgers and sandwiches, a salad or made into dip.

  
Ingredients for  PICKLED BEETROOT

Yield: around 8 cups

Yield: around 16 cups

Beetroot (small to medium size)

1.5kg

3kg

Apple Cider Vinegar (5% acidity)

2 cups

4 cups

Onions (optional)

250g

500g

Water (plus extra for cooking)

1 cup

2 cups

Sugar (optional)

1 cup

2 cups

Salt, finely ground (no additives)

3/4 teaspoon

1 1/2 teaspoons

Cinnamon Sticks

1

2

Cloves, Whole

1/2 teaspoon

1        teaspoon

  
METHOD:
1.  Wash jars in hot soapy water. Pre-heat the clean jars by covering them in water and boiling for 10 minutes in a large pot - or use your dishwasher rinse cycle.
2.  Trim beetroot ends short by leaving a centimetre or two of stems and roots attached to prevent colour loss. Sort into sizes for cooking.
3.  Cover beetroot with some water in a pan and boil until just tender (20-30 minutes depending on size). Drain and discard cooking water. Cool to touch.
4.  Wearing gloves, discard stems, root ends and skins. Slice large and medium sized beetroot into 1cm thick rounds or cut into wedges (or dice) as desired. Baby beetroot can be left whole if you prefer. Peel and thinly slice onions (if using).
5.  Measure cinnamon and cloves into a muslin spice bag. Place vinegar, water, sugar (if using), salt and spice bag into a pan and bring to a boil. Add prepared onions and beetroot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove spice bag.
6.  Warm the lids in a bowl of boiled water, removing them when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.
7.  Tightly pack the cooked beetroot (and onions, if using) into the hot jars, to 1.5cm from the rim of the jars. Ladle hot vinegar mixture into the jars, to 1cm from the rim. Remove bubbles with a non-metal utensil. Check headspace is still 1cm then wipe rims and seal. 
8.  Submerge jars in a pot of boiling water as per the chart below, starting your timer when the water returns to a full boil. When the time is up, turn the heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.
9.  12-24 hours later: check jars have sealed before wiping down jars, labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Pickled beetroot are best enjoyed after   3-6 weeks to allow the vinegar flavour to subside. Best enjoyed chilled.
  
Processing Time for  PICKLED BEETROOT  in a Boiling Water Canner

Jar
Size
Altitude
≤ 1,000 feet
Altitude
1,001 - 3,000 feet
Altitude
3,001 - 6,000 feet
Altitude
≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 1 Litre
(quarts)
30 minutes
35 minutes
40 minutes
45 minutes
 
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
Add a little of one (or more) of these ingredients to add flavour to your pickled beetroot!
o  Use brown, red or white onions in this recipe;
o   Replace 1/4 of the apple cider vinegar with balsamic vinegar;
o  Sugar is optional for this recipe – reduce or remove altogether if desired;
o  Use brown sugar instead of white sugar;
o  Honey can replace all or part of the sugar (to taste, less is required than sugar);
o  Add 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns or dill seed or yellow mustard seeds per 500ml jar (before filling);
o  Add 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds per 500ml jar (before filling);
o  Add a sprig of fresh dill into each jar;
o  Add a peeled fresh garlic clove into each jar (before filling) – even better, add fresh dill or dill seed with the garlic clove.
 
SERVING IDEAS:
o  Aussie beef burger: beef hamburger with bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce, white onion, tomato, lettuce and pickled beetroot slices;
o  Refrigerator beetroot relish or chutney (chop up, mix with other ingredients & serve, refrigerate leftovers and use within a week or so);
o  Beetroot broccoli & rosemary focaccia;
o  Beetroot dip;
o  Beetroot falafel;
o  Beetroot & feta dip;
o  Beetroot & haloumi salad;
o  Beetroot hommus (delicious with lamb burgers, meatballs or seed crackers);
o  Beetroot & lentil dip;
o  Beetroot & lentil salad;
o  Beetroot, peach and walnut salad;
o  Beetroot tzatkiki;
o  Beetroot, walnut & goat cheese tart;
o  Kale & beetroot salad;
o  Lamb grilled with quinoa and beetroot salad
 
NOTES:
o  Spicy pickled beets = as per main recipe, no (or very small amount of) sugar is added;
o  Sweet pickled beets = as per main recipe, sugar included;
o  Baby beetroot can be pickled whole, quartered, sliced or diced;
o  Medium and large beetroot can be pickled quartered, sliced or diced;
o  If buying beetroot, choose small or medium sized vegetables for best flavour and texture;
o  Once you finish the jar of beetroot, use the pickling liquid to make some refrigerator pickled eggs.
     
Author: Megan Radaich        
Image credit: Megan Radaich        

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