The Local Recipes

How to make Swedish pickled beetroot

How to make Swedish pickled beetroot
Pickled beetroot (inlagda rödbetor) is very popular in Sweden. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
Swedes are experts at pickling, since the country's harsh winters used to mean they had to use this method to preserve foods and late summer is the best time of year to jar up vegetables such as beetroot (inlagda rödbetor). Food writer John Duxbury's shares his tips with The Local.
Makes: 750ml
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 75 minutes
Total: 90 minutes
1kg beetroot, preferable gold-ball sized
1tsp salt
500ml clear distilled malt (spirit) vinegar (5 percent)
300g caster sugar
10 whole white peppercorns
3 cloves

Swedish beetroots. Photo: Steven Senne/TT/AP
1. Rinse the beetroots, but leave a short length of the root and the tops on them.
2. Place the beetroots in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Add the salt and boil until just tender. This will depend on size, variety and freshness and can vary from about ten minutes up to nearly an hour. They need to have a little bite so don’t overcook them.
3. Meanwhile, boil the vinegar, sugar and spices in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. When it comes to the boil, turn off the heat and leave to cool.
4. Wash a couple of preserving jars, sufficient for about 700ml. Place the jars in a warm oven for about 10 minutes to sterilize them and sterlilize the rubber seals in boiling water.
5. When the beetroots are cool, scrape the skins off. Slice the beetroot into 5 mm (¼”) thick slices or leave them whole if they were golf-ball sized originally. Pack them into the sterilized jars, pressing them down to get as much beetroot into each jar as possible.
6. Pour the vinegar mixture into each jar. If there is not enough, top up the jars with boiling water.
7. When the jars are cold, seal them and leave the beetroot to rest for at least a week before serving.

Pickled beetroot. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food
– Pickled beetroots (inlagda rödbetor) make a great accompaniment to pyttipanna, a classic Swedish brunch dish
– You can also use a couple of star anise and a tablespoon of black peppercorns instead of the spices suggested above, or three allspice berries and one teaspoon of white peppercorns 
This recipe was originally published on food writer John Duxbury's website Swedish Food