Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy Pickled Beets

My mother used to make delicious pickled beets. After she died I spent some time looking through her recipes. Some of them are posted here at The Owl's Kitchen, and some will be later. I found a few different recipes for pickled beets, tried them, didn't like them. Most involved pickling spices, boiling, canning jars--and none tasted like what I remembered.

I recently found a scrap of paper between the pages of a notepad. There it was! It might be the most simple recipe on this site. Sometimes the simple things really are the best!

Two cans beets (or about four cups fresh beets, sliced and cooked until tender)
1 cup sugar
1 cup white or red wine vinegar
1 cup beet juice or 1 cup water (from the cans, or save water from cooking the fresh beets)
1 small to medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp. pickling spice (Both are optional.  This recipe is good just plain.))
1 tsp. salt

What to Do:
Heat sugar, vinegar, beet juice and salt to a simmer, just enough to melt the sugar crystals. Combine beets and onion rings and put into large jar. Add the garlic or pickling spices (optional). Pour the liquid over the beets and onion and close jar. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Turn the jar occasionally to stir.

  • This will generally fit nicely into a large pickle jar or mayonnaise jar or something similar. (Some beets are "pickling" in my refrigerator right now, but I made them with one regular size can and one small can -about 3 cups beets-and halved the rest of the recipe. It worked out fine, but I just used a smaller canning jar.)
  • If you have one can of beets and are going to make a small batch by halving the amounts, you can still use a whole clove of garlic.
  • This recipe won't make beets with a long shelf life like 'canned" beets (as in "boiled in a canner and sealed tight in a canning jar") will, but they sure do make a store-bought can of beets taste fabulous.
  • You can reuse the juice, if there is a good amount. Just add more beets and onions and start all over again. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Well, I don't know about onion and garlic with beets. I use the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook pickled beet recipe with vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. But since I like garlic, it is worth a try.