Real Minnesota Farmhouse Food
These beet pickles are simply the best. Don’t throw the brine away when the jar no longer has beets in it. Core and slice a hard, crisp apple. Bring to a simmer in the brine, return to the jar and refrigerate for a day and you will have wonderful pickled apple slices. Or peel a hard-boiled egg, pierce in several places with a toothpick and let stand overnight in the brine for a pickled egg. This is crazy simple awesome grandmother food.
- 5 pounds beets, ends trimmed and cleaned
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 10 whole cloves
- 8 allspice berries
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the beets until barely tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the beets cool in the water for 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beets to a work surface and let cool. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Slice the beets into thin wedges.
In the saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar and onions with the reserved beet cooking liquid. Tie the cloves, allspice, cinnamon sticks and crushed red pepper in a cheesecloth bundle and add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add the sliced beets. Remove from the heat and let the beets cool completely in the brine before serving.
Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.