By Marisa McClellan, Food in Jars
Each year, pickled beets are on my list of preserves that I absolutely must make. Some years I do them with the standard array of pickling spices and other years use a slightly sweetened, ginger-spiked brine.
This year, I decided to try my hand at pickled beets using a little bit of help from Mrs. Wages.
I deviated from the package recipe slightly, and used five pounds of beets (simmered until tender, peeled and sliced into 1-inch cubes), the lower end of the sugar suggested and omitted the onions (simply because I hadn’t planned well and didn’t have enough in the house). I also found that I needed a good deal more vinegar than the recipe initially calls for, as there just wasn’t enough liquid to fully cover the beets.
Once I added additional vinegar to create enough liquid, these pickles came together so quickly. Even with my small changes, I still had a yield of six pints. I took a taste while filling the jars and the flavors were spot-on. I particularly liked the addition of the prepared horseradish, as it gave the pickles a gentle spiciness. I plan on giving them a couple weeks to fully marinate before digging in.
What I particularly love about using a Mrs. Wages mix is that it takes the guesswork out of the canning process. It allows me to try new flavors without running the risk that it won’t turn out. I also love that it’s an entirely acceptable shortcut (it’s particularly welcome on hot days when my kitchen beings to resemble a furnace). I’m always delighted with that helps me get delicious food into jars.
Mrs. Wages Pickled Beets
5 lbs beets
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Pickled Beets mix
Place beets into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until beets are just tender.
Drain beets and cover with cold water. When beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skins off. Slice into wedges or cubes and return to the empty pot.
Add vinegar, sugar, horseradish and Mrs. Wages Pickled Beet mix. Bring to a boil.
Pack beets into six prepared pint jars and top with liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process beets in a boiling water bath canner for 20 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When they’re completely cool, remove rings and test seals. Any jars that have not sealed should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few weeks. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to one year.