One of my favorite things to make in the summer is pickled beets. Not so much because I love them but because so many OTHER people do. I usually make more than a hundred jars and they are gone by spring. Everyone who "shops" in my pantry timidly asks for more. And more, and more. My response is always the same. "Of coarse. Please take some."
My recipe came from an older friend and she got it from a friend older than her so it is what I call and "old lady" recipe. Let me say that these are the absolute BEST recipes to find. Maybe once each year I stumble over or am gifted a very special recipe. It is a recipe that after just the first bite you shout, "Wow! I had better write that one down." This pickled beet recipe is one of those. It held the "Wow" title for several years. It is simple and delicious.
I usually cook my beets two different ways. Roasted and Boiled. Either way you want the beets to be fork tender. I find I get a much richer flavor if I roast the beets. It does take a long time and about half way through I get tired of it and just start boiling them. Consider yourself blessed if you end up with a jar of roasted ones. The color is beautiful and the flavor decadent. You must get the skins off once they are cooked. I use an old dish towel to rub off the skins. Oh, and EVERYTHING in the kitchen turns purple :)
After you get the skins off, you simply cut bite sized chunks and layer them in sterilized jars with sliced onions. The onions are part of the flavor so don't skip it. If you don't like onions then just don't eat them. I will use everything in the jar. I'll eat the beets, the onions, and the juice. It makes a wonderful vinaigrette! We will eat them plain, on cottage cheese, as a salad topping, for added color in a recipe, and so many other things. Oh, and if you are dieting and have a sweet tooth, this will cure your craving better than a chunk of chocolate.
Once the jars are packed, and you've brought your brine to a boil, fill each jar to about an inch of the rim. Seal the jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes. In laymen's terms...Put the lid on and boil it in a pot of water.
Here is the recipe and if you live locally and don't grow your own beets, Kurtzhals farm market sells a 25lb bag for around 15 dollars. Happy Canning.
2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of pickling salt
3 1/2 Cups Vinegar