Remember those beets I talked about a while back that were in the pressure canner when the power went out? Well here is finally that follow up post on what I did with them. I thought they would turn to mush if I pressure canned them, so here is a recipe for pickled beets! I needed the help of my dear friends Kiki to battle the task of reprocessing these, so I went to her place for a canning extravaganza. This night, we also made the cranberry jam I posted earlier, and pickled carrots (coming soon to a blog near you). The recipe I used is the basic one from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, but you can feel free to modify the spices to your preference. This recipe makes about 6 pints.
Beets (about 10 cups prepared)
1 cup water
2.5 cups white vinegar (5%)
1 cup sugar (optional in my opinion)
3 tbsp pickling spice
Here’s what we did:
First you want to cook the beets a little to soften them. Mine were pre-pressure canned (grrrr), but what you will want to do is cook them for a little while to soften them up a bit. Wash them well and boil for 20 or so minutes. Rinse with cold water, peel and cut off the roots and stems. Chop to the size you would like.
Combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a large pot. Honestly, I have no recollection of putting sugar in, so either we forgot it or I just forget, but people who have eaten them so far loved them but did agree they were less sweet than usual. Anyways, I leave it up to you, add it, don’t add it, half it, I don’t care. Just don’t mess with the vinegar to water ratio.
Next, grab your monkey and fill him with spices. OK, you won’t all have an adorable monkey tea infuser, but if you do you can use it, or make a spice bag. Use your favourite mix of pickling spices, either a homemade combo or store bought, whichever flavours you like. We used a combination of cinnamon, bay leaves, allspice, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper, ginger, dill seeds, and cloves. I think that was it. Place your monkey in the vinegar pot, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Meanwhile, prepare the canner, jars and lids.
I decided my monkey was too small and I wanted more spice, so tried making an improvised spice bag, which quickly busted. Oh well, all in a day. If some get in the jar its not a big deal. Reduce heat and boil the spices for about 15 minutes. Then discard your spice bag and add the beets. Return to a boil.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the hot beets into the hot jars, then fill with the vinegar liquid. Leave a half inch head space. Be sure to remove any bubbles from between the beets with a plastic debubbler. Wipe the rims, place the lids on the jars, and tighten finger tip tight.
Place the jars in the canner, making sure they are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and process for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove canner lid , wait 5 minutes, and remove jars. Cool for 12-24 hours, check seals, remove bands, label jars and store. Share delicious beets with all your beet loving friends (I know you all have lots!)