To make these pickled beets, I combined parts of Thomas Keller's basic pickling recipe from his ad hoc at home cookbook with a recipe in the Mercer County Historical Society of Beulah, North Dakota "Then and Now" cookbook.
(Sorry, no Amazon link for the Mercer County cookbook. You'll have to marry a North Dakota boy to get your own copy.)
The result is a delicious, sophisticated twist on pickled beets.
Hope you enjoy them!
Pickled Baby Beets
Several bunches of baby beets
1 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup beet water (reserved from boiling beets)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
Remove beets from stems, reserving the greens for another use (we sauteed them with a bit garlic of olive oil). Scrub and trim the beets, and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender. (Cooking time will vary according to the size of the beets.)
Remove beets with a slotted spoon and let cool. Reserve the beet water.
Peel beets and cut in half. Wear disposable gloves to avoid staining your hands. And wear a dark colored shirt. Just trust me on this.
Place the beets in a jar and add the spices.
Bring the champagne vinegar, sugar and 1/2 cup of the beet water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour this pickling brine into the jar, covering the beets completely.
Seal the jar, let it cool a bit, then place it in the refrigerator. For best results, let them hang out in the fridge for about a week before eating them. If you can.
They can be stored in the fridge for up to a month. But they won't last that long.