Portion/Yield:Makes about 3 x 250g jars
Growing vegetables has been a new and humble experience for me. It has given me a new found respect for the food we eat. I had a good harvest last summer and we managed to get two crops of beetroot, which I was incredibly pleased with. I now realise how long it takes to grow vegetables organically. I will think twice before throwing food in the bin in the future as it’s so easy to buy and then throw cheap food if it’s not used. It made me think of all sorts of ways to preserve my homegrown vegetables. I am all excited as I have already planned what I am going to plant this year.
This star anise and cinnamon pickled beetroots was a hit for us. We love the way the flavour of the star anise complements the earthiness of the beetroots and is rounded off with a perfect cinnamon aroma. Beetroots are Ross’s favourite vegetable and we regularly have them with our dinner. Enjoy the pickled beets cold or warm, in salads, risottos, or with roasted leg of lamb its a treat!
Ingredients & Method
- 500g beetroots
- 180g caster sugar
- 180ml malt vinegar
- 50ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 3 whole star anise
- 4 cloves
- 30ml extra virgin olive oil + extra to top the jars up
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 1tsp Sea Salt
This recipe is best approached in two stages.
First prepare and cook the beetroot. Remove the leaves and wash the beets in cold water.
Place the washed beets in a large saucepan with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Bring the beets to the boil and cook until tender, approximately 30 minutes depending on the size. Insert a small sharp knife, if the knife slides in easy and comes out easy then they are cooked, drain the beets.
Let them cool slightly and then scrape the skins with a sharp small knife, the skins will come off very easily. Be careful as they will stain anything remotely white. I usually wear a pair of gloves and peel them in the sink.
If the beets are big cut them into smaller wedges or if they are small you can keep them whole, set the beets aside.
Sterilize glass jam jars in the oven (see cooks notes) while making the pickling liquid.
For the pickling liquid measure all the ingredients in to a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer the liquid for 5 minutes.
Add the cooked beetroots and bring the liquid back to the boil, cook for one minute.
Cool the beets slightly before spooning them in to the sterilised jars. Pour the remaining liquid over the beets to cover them completely with the hot liquid. Add extra extra virgin olive oil on top about 1cm, to keep the oxygen out completely. The pickling liquid with the olive oil makes a delicious vinaigrette.
Seal the jars tightly and let them cool completely before refrigerating.
You can eat the beetroots immediately but I highly recommend letting them mature for a minimum of a week before using them.
You can keep the beetroot for up to one month in the fridge providing that you have sterilised the jars correctly.
The pickled beetroot is delicious in cold salads, makes glorious plated starters-Beetroot, Feta and Watercress Salad or warm with roasted leg of lamb. Cold Pickled Beetroots goes very well with smoked trout and creamed horseradish.
Sterilizing the jars: This is one of the most crucial tasks that you should never cut corners. If this is not done well you might find that your handy work becomes mouldy and ferments sooner than expected. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water; do not dry them with a tea towel. Place the damp jars and lids on a clean baking tray; try not to touch the jars and lids on the insides. Place them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Let the jars cool slightly before filling them, never pour cold liquid in to hot glass jars, you will end up with broken glass.