Pickled Beets with Star Anise and Cinnamon

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes Two

    1 pt

    Jars

Appears in

Roots

By Diane Morgan

Published 2012

  • About

Without the bother of a water bath or of pressure canning, you can easily make aromatic and deeply spiced pickled beets that keep for a month in the refrigerator. In the springtime, when I see baby beets at the farmers’ market, I’m inspired to keep the dainty orbs whole and pickle them. At other times, slicing, or even cutting wedges, of small- or medium-size beets is the best bet for packing beets comfortably into jars.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb/455 g Simple Roasted Beets, prepared with red beets, cooled, peeled, and cut into ¼-in/6-mm-thick slices
  • cup/35 g thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 cups/480 ml. cider vinegar
  • ½ cup/120 ml. water
  • ½ cup/100 g firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • -in/4-cm. piece cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice

Method

  1. Wash two 1-pt/480-ml heatproof jars with tight-fitting lids in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher and wash the lids by hand.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the beets and shallots. Pack the jars evenly with the beet mixture; set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and allspice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Boil the pickling liquid for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
  4. Using a widemouthed funnel, ladle the hot pickling liquid into the prepared jars, covering the beet mixture completely and leaving ½-in/12-mm head space. Distribute the whole spices that sink to the bottom of the saucepan evenly between the jars, making sure each jar of beets has a piece of cinnamon, a star anise pod, and an equal amount of cloves and allspice. Wipe the rims clean and attach the lids.
  5. Let the beets steep at room temperature until cool, then store in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before serving to allow the flavors to permeate the beets. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.