A touch of sweetness softens the pickling – these pickled baby beetroot go very nicely with a chicken liver parfait.
First you’ll need to cook the beetroot – boil for as long as it takes to soften them so they fall off a knife in the same way as testing the doneness of potatoes. Smaller beetroot may only take 10-15 minutes, larger beetroot can take 30+ minutes. Try not to test them too much as they do bleed when you cut them but a few little cuts wont harm.
Remove from the water and wash under the cold tap to remove the skins.
Use enough pickling vinegar to fill the jar you’re going to use to store the beetroot.
Heat the vinegar until just about simmering and add a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar.
Cook for a couple of minutes and add – 1 stick of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of cloves (go easy on the cloves – if you overdo cloves the flavour will take over the rest of the ingredients), a teaspoon of black peppercorns, a teaspoon of coriander seed and 1 dried chilli cut lengthways.
You need to sterilise the jar the beetroot will be stored in. Boiling water will do this – make sure you sterilise both the jar and the lid. Depending on the jar you use, pouring boiling water on glass can make the glass crack so my advice would be to place the jar in a sink of the hottest water you can get from your tap first – this should prevent the glass from shattering when you pour boiling water over it.
Add your beetroot and pour over the pickling ingredients.
Leave for at least 1 week – a month is recommended.