Up to 2kg fresh beetroot
1 ½ litres vinegar - either malt vinegar or wine vinegar, depending on your preference
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
About 10 whole cloves
1 bay leaf (dried
100g Sugar (optional
Chop the stalks off the beetroot, leaving an inch at the end. Scrub the beetroot gently to remove any mud, but taking care not to damage the skin. Wrap them in foil and bake at 180 degrees C for up to 2 hours, until they are tender.
While the beetroot is baking, make the vinegar mixture:
Put the vinegar, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large pan
Bring to the boil for about 1 minute.
Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
Leave the flavours to infuse for about 2 hours.
Drain before using.
Note: if you prefer sweet pickled beetroot, add 250g sugar to the vinegar before heating. Stir well to make sure the sugar has dissolved.
If the skins were thick, you can peel the beetroot - it's up to you. Wear gloves, if peeling, or it'll take ages for your finger nails to return to their usual colour!
Slice the beetroot into 1/2 cm slices.
Put the slices into sterilised jars.
Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and rinse well
Put upside down in an oven at 100 degrees C for 20 minutes
Allow to cool slightly and then fill whilst still warm
Use a vinegar-resistant lid (i.e. plastic-coated, so no metal comes into contact with the vinegar, or this would corrode and ruin the pickle)
Bring the vinegar mixture to the boil and then fill the jars.
Seal the jars with an airtight, vinegar resistant lid.
Leave for a few weeks before eating. Gently shake the jars every week or so, to allow the flavours to infuse.