You can make 1 jar of this or a few or a dozen at a time according to what your needs or supplies are. Leaving the beets whole for cooking prevents them from bleeding out and losing their color. I have always used the brown malt vinegar for these since white malt vinegar is harder to find. The brown vinegar will darken the color of the beets a little. These are my favorite beet pickles, better than the sweet kind! I developed this recipe from experimenting with a combination of several old recipes I found in British cookbooks and adapted it to the by the jar method I discovered in Andrea Chesman's "Summer in a Jar" cookbook. Number of servings is my guess at how many might come from one jar and cook time is the approximate time for processing in a boiling water bath.
- Trim leaves from beets leaving about 2 inch stem stubs on beets. Scrub beets well. Leave long tap root attached.
- Boil whole beets until just tender. Let cool till easy to handle. Slip off skins and trim off tops and long tap roots (you may want to use rubber gloves, its messy work). Small beets may be left whole for packing into jars. Large beets can be cut into chunks.
- Into the bottom of each pint jar place the spices as listed above. Pack the beets into the jars. Fill the jars with hot malt vinegar to within 1/2 to 3/4 inch from jar top. Wipe rims of jars and seal with lids.
- Process in a boiling water bath according to the canner manufacturer's instructions. Set the jars in a draft free place to cool. Check seals before storing. Store for at least 1 month before using to allow the flavors to develop.