Update September 2020: I now exclusively use the water bath method for canning/bottling everything as an extra layer of food safety. I will be updating instructions over the next few months to share how I do that. I have never had any problems bottling them this way but now prefer the water bath method in terms of ease and having a higher success rate with jars sealing. Laura
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 beetroot peeled & thickly sliced (see note 1)
- Water to cover you will use 1 cup of this liquid for the bottling
- 1 cup malt vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon plain salt
- A few whole cloves
- 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.
- If you have more beetroot just increase the amounts of all other ingredients accordingly
Here is a tip that is awesome ! I used to use about four or five whole cloves and Malt Vinegar to do 3 or 4 average sized beets sliced. Now i use 2 cloves and 1 to 1 and a half Star Anise ! The Stars are less sharper than cloves but give a beautiful smooth flavor. Bottle Beets along with the spices. Ps i don't sterilize jars in oven. i use recycled jam jars with the little bit of soft seal attached inside lid. i boil jug and pour boiled water in the clean jars and lids ! don't forget the lids. In the oven lids seal could melt. Never had any stuff go off using this method ! i do beets, onions, chutneys etc. To open tight jars. Get a butter knife flat end type. Place jar upside down on bench. Look for a flat spot between lid and jar. Slide knife in the gap gently as you don't want to crack glass ! Push down with some force into lid until you hear Fssst ! Once vacuum is released you can just undo lid so easily. i open all sealed jars like this now even shop bought ones, cheers Cc
This is my favourite beetroot recipe! This will be the third year I've used it. Anyone that gets the gift of a jar all say it's the nicest beetroot they've ever had. a BIG thank you for sharing!
I have made this recipe in the past and so this year decided to do the same again. However I saw that you are now using the water bath method so decided to try it myself. However this recipe doesn’t come with the instructions and even though I read the method in your canning section, it said to do what the recipe instructed ie levels in the jar and also timing in the water bath etc.
Can you please update this recipe accordingly, as I did get in rather a “pickle” so to speak! Thanks, its still a great recipe and my beetroot is bubbling in the water bath so here’s hoping…
Kathryn Teleste says
I've never tried many vinegar with beets. That sounds heavenly! I picked up 3 pounds today to ferment (like sauerkraut), but maybe I'll have to get more the next time to try this recipe!
Sounds great - I haven't gone down the fermentation path yet...I'm obsessed with anything pickled though! If you try it let me know how it goes =)