Growing up in a Danish household, pickled beets were always abundant, but particularly so at Christmas time. It is usually the first thing I make as Christmas gets close.  Then I start in on the cookies and goodies.
We would have pickled beets with everything, but most commonly on open faced rye bread sandwiches with cheese, pate, and sausage meats.  I think pickled beets are a main event like Cranberry sauce is to most other people.  All of my sisters to this day make this recipe.  One year I can't remember why, but I did not make them.  I still hear about it from my daughter, in fact she actually asked me to make them for her birthday!
The original recipe will follow, but I wanted to mention, this recipe can also be made with Apple Cider Vinegar, although, you do get quite a different flavor.
This makes a fair bit of seasoned vinegar, actually I had 2 cups leftover, which I refrigerated to make more pickled beets another day.
6-8 large beets
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups of warm water
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 Dashes of:
mustard seed, celery seed
good pinch of ground cloves
3/4 tsp. salt
Wash the beets well, leaving on the skin, tops and bottoms.  Place into a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid, turn down to simmer and cook until tender.  Mine took 1 1/2 hours to cook through.
Meanwhile sterilize your jars and lids.  In another pot, combine the water and sugar. Keep stirring until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Then add the vinegar, and seasonings, stir to combine and set aside.

When your beets are cooked, drain the water off, remove beets to a platter to cool. I line my cutting board with parchment paper to prevent the beets from staining the board.  (I care more about staining my cutting board than I do my hands) Once cool, cut the tops and bottoms off, then peel the beets, slice in half, and then into quarters.  Slice the beet fairly thin, think of a slice on top of a sandwich.
Fill your jars to the top with the sliced beets, then using a ladle pour on the seasoned vinegar, covering all of the beets. Cover with the lids, and refrigerate.  They taste their best after about 3 days and will keep for ages in the fridge.

Ina Gawne
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8 comments on “DANISH PICKLED BEETS”

  1. Hi...Do you not have to boil these as in the canning process? Do you just put them in the fridge and not boil with lids on?

    1. You can properly can the pickled beets, but I never do, because they do not last long in my house! They will keep for weeks in the refrigerator!

  2. Hi Ina! You are so right about these beets! They are one of my best meal memories!
    I am about to try canning these this weekend for the first time - wish me luck.
    Love Tia

    1. Hi Tia...lovely to hear from you! I have never canned them...we just make a batch and they get eaten up very quickly. By the way....the ingredients
      were exactly how mom made them! 🙂

    1. Tia - you should have enough of the broth to make 12 small jars. It is always easy enough to whip up another batch of broth or make 1 1/2 worth? Let me know how you make out. 🙂

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December 12, 2010