We have been harvesting more – and bigger! – beetroot than we can eat, despite our successional sowings. Yesterday, King of the Hill put our newly installed hob to the test by pickling some of our harvest.
We trimmed the tops of the beets that we’d picked to an inch or two, then boiled them until they were tender. To avoid the colour bleeding out, it is important not to pierce the skins or slice off the top or tail of the beets before cooking. Once cooked, we peeled the skins from the beets and left them to cool.
We sliced the cooled beetroot and packed the slices in sterilised jars. While the beetroot was cooling we boiled up a litre of malt vinegar; when it reached boiling point we added some whole coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns, several bay leaves, a stick of cinnamon, a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar, some cloves and some dried crushed chillies, then turned off the heat and left the vinegar to cool. The kitchen smelt lovely.
Once the vinegar was cool, we strained it and poured it into the jars of sliced beetroot until they were covered, and sealed the jars. Into one of the jars we added back some of the spices that we’d filtered out of the vinegar, to compare the flavours later.