Are you a canner? Maybe like me you love pickled beets…
I love Pickled Beets
I really love pickled beets,,, but rarely get to have them… This year our garden produced a few beets, enough to fill 3 quart canning jars… It seemed to be a good time to try my hand at pickling my own beets… My first thought was that I would be making refrigerator pickles, and they would not need to be processed as in canning… But for some unknown reason I decided to do a full blown canning session… I wanted to share my experience with you… Below is what I did and the recipe that I used…
Beets – Enough to fill 3 quart jars
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups Filtered Water
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tbsp Pickling salt, I used Redmond Real Salt
1-2 tsp Pickling Spices, Mexican food section of Walmart
Wash, Trim and Wrap Beets,, I use foil over a sandwich paper wrap, I do not like the aluminum directly on my beets, I can taste aluminum when they are cooked. Then I Bake the beets at 450 Degrees for 1-1/2 hour, but it may not need to cook that long, they were a little softer than I wanted. Also, I cut the large beets in half and wrapped separately so that they would cook quicker… After cooking the beets I let them cool, then because I did not feel up to pickling them right away I refrigerated them for a couple of days till I had the energy to finish the job…
When I was ready to pickle the beets I began by, Measuring out the vinegar, water, and sugar, into a large pot, and put them on the stove and brought the brine to a boil, then added teaspoon or two of spice mix, (I do not like cloves in my pickled beets so I left them out) Once the sugar was dissolved I turned the heat off.
Then I unwrapped, peeled and cut the already baked beets.
I almost missed the picture of the full dish of wrapped beets.
You see the sandwich wrap on the inside of the foil… I was not sure I should share this picture because some of the juices browned,, but you are getting the good with the bad… It still smelled and tasted good…
The beets were easy to peel, most of them came off by rubbing the surface, some had to be cut or scraped where the skin was tougher.
The cut beets were put in the brine as they were cut…
This next step should have been done before I prepared the beets in the brine; I washed and sterilized the jars, lids and bands…
To sterilize jars, lids and bands place them in 180-degree (near-boiling) water for at least 10 minutes. Also sterilize the tongs you use to put them in the boiling water and take them back out. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_01/sterile_jars.html
When the jars, lids and bands had been in the sterilizer long enough, they were drained and removed from the water; I take the jars out of the water, and empty any water that is in the jar…
When the jars were out of the water bath sterilizer, I reheated the beets in the brine to boiling, then when the brine and beets were at a low boil, I filled the sterilized jars to 1/2 inch from the top of the jars…
I poured the brine into a quart Pyrex pitcher and filled the jars with brine to 1/2 inch from the rims. Using a pitcher was easier that spooning it or trying to pour it out of the pot (which would have been dangerous).
Then cleaned the rims of each jar and put the lids and bands on, and tightened the bands…
Have you wondered how I got 4 quarts of beets, when I only had enough beets for 3 quarts? Well I had to modify the recipe I used because my first draft made enough for an extra quart of brine, and because I could not bring myself to throw out the excess brine I canned it, the 4th jar is only brine…
When the jars had been closed and lids tightened, each jar was put back into the water bath that was used to sterilize the jars… There was an inch or more of water over the top of the jars… The water bath was heated to boiling and the jars were kept at boiling for 35 minutes…
When the time was up the jars were removed from the water bath and left undisturbed to cool
I forgot to take the shoot with the bands on… But all of the jars sealed, and our pickled beets taste like pickled beets…
If you are new to canning, please check out this resource from National Center for Home Food Preservation it will give you the basics that can help to prevent failed food preservation efforts and food poisoning. I am not an expert at canning, but wanted to share what I did anyway,, I would hate for someone spoil a batch of food because I forgot a step… Double check my work, bone up on how to can.
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