I love beetroot…a lot. I like it roasted, in chutney, just plain old boiled with a dollop of sour cream on top. And out of a can. A bit of beetroot takes a plain old summer salad to a whole new level. So when I pulled the last of my baby beets out of the garden, the natural step was to put them in a jar.
And turns out it is easy peasy! A lady from work gave me a recipe and I couldn’t believe how simple it was. Peel and cut beetroot. Boil for 10 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, salt & cloves. Put in jar. Done.
And let me tell you. There is NO comparison to the limp, bland beetroot that comes in a tin from the supermarket. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t turn up my nose at it, but this homemade version is just so much better! Big thick chunks of beautiful deep red beets in liquid that is the perfect combination of tangy and sweet with just a little hint of spice.
The homemade challenge has begun!
(Please note: I have read a little bit about canning beetroot and because it is a low acid food there are certain rules about using the correct amount of vinegar. Some people also suggest using a pressure canner. This is just the method I have used as told by someone I trust…it worked for them, and it worked for me)
- 500 grams of beetroot, peeled & thickly sliced
- Water to cover (you will use 1 cup of this liquid for the bottling)
- 1 cup vinegar (any kind will do, I used malt)
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp plain salt
- A few whole cloves
If you have more beetroot, just increase the amounts of all other ingredients.
Sterilise the jars you will be using. I use pasta sauce or jam jars and sterilise them by running them through the dishwasher. Making sure that the jars are sterilised is very important to ensure that they are free from bacteria and lingering smells that could taint the beetroot.
Peel & chop beetroot into thick slices. Cover with water and bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until beetroot is cooked but still firm.
Remove beetroot from pot and set the cooking water aside. Pack beetroot into sterilised jars.
Put 1 cup of the cooking water back into the pot and add vinegar, sugar, salt & cloves. Bring to the boil then fill the jars of beetroot with the liquid until almost to the top. Run a butter knife around the inside of the jar to ensure there are no air bubbles in the liquid. Top up the jars until they are just overflowing and using a cloth (as the jars will be very hot) tightly screw on the lids.
Wipe down the jars and leave to cool on the bench. As long as the jars seal properly (you will know if they have sealed, as the dome on the lid will be pressed down), they will keep in the pantry for about 12 months. If they don’t seal, put them in the fridge and eat immediately, although I’m sure they will still last a good few weeks in the fridge.