Helpful Hints for Pickling Beetroot
Pickling beetroot is a great way to prepare your beetroot and save it for a later time. By pickling beetroot you have grown or purchased, you allow yourself the option of enjoying the delicious root vegetable for several weeks (and even possibly months) to come, since the vinegar keeps it safe from spoiling and going bad right away. In addition to this, by experimenting with different flavor combinations, you can create different tasting pickled beetroot for different types of dishes and occasions.
The most common question people ask about beetroot is whether or not it is the same as a beet. In fact, it certainly is. Whether you refer to it as a beet or as a beetroot will depend primarily on where you hail from. Beet is the common name in North America, and beetroot is the vegetable’s normal moniker in Europe and Australia. Wherever it is you come from, however, you will find pickled beetroot (or beets) to be a delicious addition to any meal.
What You Will Need
When you find yourself with some fresh beetroot that needs pickling, there are certain ingredients and tools you will require to complete the task at hand. A large pot will be needed to boil the beetroot in. A sharp knife will also be required, since you are going to have to do some heavy slicing.
Your beetroot will need to be pickled and stored in a large jar with a tight fitting lid with seal. It is very important that you sterilize the jar first to ensure that no bacterium is alive to harm your beetroot. This will greatly increase the beetroot’s shelf life.
Tasty vinegar of your choosing is also required. Some people experiment by using half white vinegar and half apple cider, but the choice is yours. Feel free to experiment if you choose, but most people like to start off with sweeter, white vinegar and add flavors to it.
While it is perfectly fine to use simple, standard malt vinegar to do your pickling, a lot of people like to experiment with flavors to spice things up. Cinnamon, star anise, garlic, chili flakes, and even lemon zest are common pickling additives that really take strides in making your final concoction your very own creation. Feel free to try them out until you find the right one for you.
Begin by thoroughly sanitizing your jar and its lid. You can do this by bleaching them out and then boiling them each for 10 minutes; similar to baby bottle sterilization. Put the lid on the jar to keep germs out until you are ready to use it.
Take your beetroot and scrub each one thoroughly. Dirt has a nasty habit of getting embedded in the skin, so it’s very important to wash them as best as you can. Place the beetroot in your large saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil and let them cook for about 20 minutes or so. If you can handle the heat, press the sides with your finger to make sure they are at the right consistency. If not, feel free to poke them with a knife, or squish lightly with a fork or spatula.
While you are boiling the beets, get another saucepan out and boil enough vinegar to cover the beets. As it boils, add the flavoring of your choice, and white sugar if you wish to remove some of the acidic bite that the vinegar with bring. Let this boil for a few seconds more and then remove from the heat and let cool.
By now, your beetroot should be completely cooked and can be removed from the boiling water. The skins should slide off quite easily, and the beetroot can now be sliced and placed inside of the jar where they can await the vinegar.
Store the jar in a dry, cool place while the vinegar works its magic on the beetroot. This process will take approximately one week for maximum flavor. After this, feel free to enjoy. Once the jar has been opened, you need to keep it refrigerated.