Friday, 29 October 2010

Pickled beetroot

We always seem to have quite a large crop of beetroot every year in our garden. So I always preserve a few by pickling whatever we have left as we clear out the summer vegetable garden ready to turn the soil for some winter vegetables. They are well worth preserving and using in dishes  throughout the year (see my recipes for Borscht and Beetroot & Goat's Cheese Salad). You can vary the pickling vinegar by adding other spices to it if you wish. A bit of chilli thrown in can work a treat for example.

Vinegar, sufficient to cover the beets
1.1 litre/2 pints malt vinegar
8g/1/4oz whole black pepper 
8g/1/4oz allspice 
Preparation method
1. Wash the beets free from dirt, and be very careful not to prick the outside skin, or they would lose their beautiful colour.

2. Put the whole beetroots into boiling water, let them simmer gently, and when about three quarters done, which will be about 1½hours, take them out and let them cool. Pack the beetroots and pack them into sterilized jars. I leave mine whole but you can slice them into 1cm discs if you prefer.

3. Whilst the beetroot is cooking  boil the vinegar with the pepper and allspice, in the above proportion for 10 minutes, and when cold strain the vinegar and  pour over the beetroot packed in the jars.  Sprinkle the top of the jar with 1 tspn salt and seal. Store the jars in a cook dark place. They will be ready to use within 4 weeks.

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