Pickled Onions / Pickled Beetroot

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Memories of bygone days when mum used to make her own Pickled Onions and Pickled Beetroot.
From memory she didn’t have any fancy vinegars or exotic spiced in the jar but boy did they taste good. Now the pickled onions were supposed to ferment in the jars for a few weeks. I don’t remember my dad ever managing to stick to that ?

I’m sure others will have fancier methods……

You will need some big jars for this, washed and sterilised. Those big Mason jars with the plastic seal would be good but keep your pickle jars and other bottles and be prepared. I’ll leave the quantities of onions or beetroot up to you. Maybe start with a couple of jars.

Just to say that these are traditional Scottish sour vinegar pickles as opposed to the sweet ones that are now available here and abroad. I have to watch what it says in the jars.

Pickled Onions

You need some small onions or shallots. It’s probably going to be easier to peel them if you steep them in a bowl of water for a couple of hours. It may avoid some crying later ?
Trim the top and tails and pack the onions into your jars. Then fill with distilled vinegar, some use malt or other fancier wine vinegar. Spices….. maybe a shake of chilli flakes or a small Birdseye chilli, some yellow mustard seeds or black pepper seeds. Top up the vinegar to the top and put on the lids to seal.
You want to leave them at least 2 to 3 weeks to ferment ….Erm, 1 to 2 weeks…. at least a week. Dad, will you leave them alone!!! Give the jars a bit of a turn every few days to mix the spices around.

Pickled Beetroot

The beetroot has to be cooked before pickling. If you’ve never cooked beetroot they come with a bit of a flowery stalk on top. You need to leave an inch of the stalk on the beetroot, while boiling, or the beet will bleed out it’s colour.
Cover the whole unpeeled beets in water and boil for 20 – 25 minute (like potatoes).

Now you’re nest with a pair of gloves for the next bit…..unless you want nice red hands for a couple of days.

Drain the beets under running water and remove the skins. They should just rub off, no peeling, and remove the stalks with a knife.
Then slice the warm beets into your jars. Cover with distilled vinegar and put the lids on tightly to seal. No other spices required.
The beetroot can be eaten the same day.
Have you ever had a sandwich on warm beetroot?

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