I adore homemade pickled beets. Much more crisp and flavorful than store-bought beets in tin cans (ugh), these Easy Pickled Beets are delicious right out of the jar. Better yet, try them on a green salad with a bit of Chevre cheese… yum!
While this recipe is suitable for water bath canning, you don’t actually need to “can” anything. If you wish, you can prepare this recipe and simply store your beets in a container in the fridge. Also, if you don’t want quite as many pickled beets as the recipe below provides, simply cut the recipe in half. Remember, only the ingredients get cut in half; the cooking times remain the same.
Ingredients (Makes 10 pint-size jars)
2 gallon bucket of whole beets
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
1 bunch green onions, ends trimmed
Step 1) Scrub beets well with a brush to remove all dirt. Scrub them again! Remove leaves and trim the stems close to the beet, but do not cut into the beet itself – leave a bit of the stems attached.
Step 2) Sort beets into “large beets” and “small beets”. Working with half of the beets at a time (all the same approximate size), place the beets in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil “small beets” for 2 minutes; boil “large beets” for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool to room temperature (or slightly warmer).
Step 3) Wearing kitchen gloves and working over a pan with shallow sides, trim ends of beets. Then, peel beets with a vegetable peeler – the beets will not be soft, but will be very easy to peel after briefly boiling. Slice beets into thick slices, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Set sliced beets in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
Step 4) Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a large pot. Bring the brine to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer.
*If you’re storing your pickled beets in the refrigerator, pour the brine over the beets and ladle the mixture into refrigerator containers. Beets will be ready in about 5 days, and can be refrigerated (covered in brine) for up to one month. If you are canning your beets, continue with Step 5:
Step 5) Place one green onion in a sterilized pint-size canning jar. Pack the jar full of beets, then top with brine. Use a canning tool or a chopstick to remove air bubbles. Leave 1/2 inch of head space. Cover the jar with a band and a lid. Repeat with remaining jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark location for up to one year.