Sunday, October 16, 2011

RECIPE: Pickled Beets with Red Wine (Easy Canning Recipe)

... in case you feel inundated with beets. This is pretty easy and a decent intro to canning:

Makes 7-8 pints

6 pounds beets , with their rootlets and 2 inches of their tops, well scrubbed
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 4-inch sticks cinnamon, broken into pieces
1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 cups sugar
2 cups red wine
3 cups red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pickling salt


(Have ready 7-8 pint-size mason jars with 2-piece lids, a large canning kettle full of barely bubbling water and a medium saucepan of hot water. Immerse the jars in the kettle and immerse the lids in the saucepan until you are ready to use them.)

Put the beets into a large pot and pour enough boiling water over them to cover them. Return the water to a boil and boil the beets 15-35 minutes, depending on their size, until they are just tender

Drain the beets and cover them with cold water. When they are cool, trim them and slip off their skins. If they are large, half or quarter them—or, if you like, slice all the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds.

Tie the cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a spice bag or scrap of cheesecloth. Put this into a nonreactive pot with the sugar, wine, vinegar and salt. Bring the contents to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Simmer the syrup, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

While the syrup simmers, pack the beets into pint mason jars.

Remove the spice bag from the pan and pour the hot syrup over the beets, leaving ½ inch headspace. (Make sure there are no air bubbles in the jars.) Close the jars with two-piece caps (lids just fingertip tight). Process the jars for 30 minutes in a boiling-water bath. (Make sure the water is boiling all the time. If it stops boiling, do not count that time toward the 30 minutes. Make sure the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of boiling water at all times.)

(Remove the jars, setting them several inches apart on a clean dish towel; let them come to room temperature. When the jars are cool, test for a good seal by pressing the center of each lid. If the lid does not flex up and down, it is sealed. Another test is that when the jars are cool and sealed, you should be able to pick up each jar just by its lid.)

Store in a cool, dry place for about 3 weeks before eating. (It’s best to remove the rims before storing as they can trap water.)

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