PICKLED BEETROOT

YIELD: AROUND 8 CUPS
   
INGREDIENTS:
1.5kg (3.3lbs) small to medium sized beetroot
Water (for cooking)
2 cups vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon pickling salt
1 cup sugar (optional)
   
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 in water in a pan and boil until tender (20-30 minutes depending on size). Drain and discard liquid. Cool to touch.
  4. Wearing gloves, discard stems, roots and skins. Slice large beetroot if desired into circles or wedges. Baby beetroot can be left whole if desired.
  5. Whisk vinegar, water and salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Keep hot.
  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 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 for 30 minutes, 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. The next day: check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jars should not flex up or down when pressed. If jars have not sealed refrigerate immediately. Open after 4 weeks or so to allow the vinegar flavour to mellow. Best enjoyed chilled.

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