It was almost 50 years ago since I have eaten homemade pickled beets. A couple of days ago, I got the taste in my mouth and knew it was time. From time to time I buy a jar of Aunt Nellies beets, but I find them too sweet and syrupy. Yesterday I took matters into my own hands.

A search online for Pickled Beets gave me a million hits, most of which involved all sorts of complicated ingredients. My mother was your typical British Cook, i.e. not very good at the culinary arts, so I doubt that she used any fancy stuff. I decided that my best way forward was to ignore the instructions and just go for it.

Put 3 beets in a pan and cover with water, add lots of salt, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 45 mins.

Drain the water (don’t spill it on yourself for 2 reasons, one it is really, really hot, and second, it will dye your clothes purple).

Cover the beets with cold water and let em cool off while you drink a cold beer.

Peel the outer skin off, it will slide off in your fingers. If you are wimpy wear gloves, but I can assure you that after 24 hours the stain starts to fade.

Slice beets and put in a bowl

Slice a red onion and add to the beets

Pour a generous amount of vinegar (I used red wine, but anything hanging around will work fine).

Put the concoction in a container, I used a large plastic jar that in a previous life had contained peanut butter. Stick it in the fridge overnight.

No more Aunt Nellies for me! I am sticking with homemade.

Simon Barrett

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