Build An Ark: Pickled Beets - Yummy!

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Pickled Beets—- Yummy!

Today is pickled beets day and I'll be preserving them with my water bath canner.

Out in the garden I harvested 16 pounds of softball-sized beets, which will make 4 batches of the pickled beets recipe I will be using. They are Detroit Dark Red Beets, which don't get pithy when they are large, so they work well for canning.

To start, I trimmed off the greens (save them, they taste great!), but left about 1” of the stems and the tails. After a gentle rinse under water the beets will need to have their skins removed. They can be hand pealed or simmered in water until the skins soften, which is the method I chose to do for this batch.

While the beets are cooking I can prepare the brine. The following is the recipe I use right from the Ball Blue Book, with personal taste adjustments.

For every 4 pounds of beets I need:
2 ½ cups cider vinegar
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon of mustard seed
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
3 – 3” sticks cinnamon
2 cups thinly sliced onions

Adding all these ingredients to a stockpot I set it aside to check on the beets.

You can tell when the skins have softened because they start to peal away from the beet. Once they are removed from the water and have cooled enough to hold them, the skins slide right off with little effort.

Then I cut them up into bite-sized pieces for the pickles.

As I'm working on cutting the beets, I put the brine on heat and bring it to a boil. It then has to simmer for 5 minutes. Then I can add the chopped up beets to the brine and cook them both together until the beets are hot throughout.

Now my beets are ready to be poured into sterilized jars, but before I do this I have to remove the cinnamon sticks from the mixture.

A note of caution: I have to make sure the jars are not cold when adding the hot beets to them, as this can crack or break my jars.

Now my beets are ready to be poured into sterilized jars, but before I do this I have to remove the cinnamon sticks from the mixture.

A note of caution: I have to make sure the jars are not cold when adding the hot beets to them, as this can crack or break my jars.

Bringing the water bath to a boil I let the pickled beets simmer for 30 minutes. At the end of this time I can remove them from the canner and set them aside in a draft free location and cover with a towel to cool slowly.

Voila! Pickled Beets to be enjoyed through out the winter months!

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