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'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

Posted by denninmi (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 3, 11 at 16:12

Well, I hate to say it, but this grocery store product put mine to shame.

In my culinary tradition, a "pickled beet" was just a beet in vinegar solution, with salt, no spices.

The same neighbor that brought me the fruitcake that was so bland gave me a jar of these.

Well, they are really good, actually.

I'm trying to figure out the spices.

I don't think it's very complicated -- I know I tasted onion and clove. And, I think there may be some mustard in there as well. Probably also just a little bit of garlic, cinnamon, and ginger, and black pepper, but very, very light.

I should have done a "jar-topsy" before I threw out the brine after consuming the beets, to look for whole spices, but alas, I didn't think to. I just put the lid on and discarded (wasteful, I know, but the jar wasn't useful to me). I'm pretty sure there weren't any whole cloves or similar in there, just possibly some powdered spice residue at the bottom of the jar. But, it was hard to tell with the brine being very, very purple-red from the beets.

Also, quite sweet-sour, so there is a good amount of sugar in the brine. But, not overly sweet -- it is similar to a sweet (cucumber) pickle -- sweet but still sour from vinegar.

I'd like to make my own version at home. Just wondered if anyone has a good, sweet, spiced pickled beet recipe they like similar to this product

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

Just beets in plain vinegar? For shame. :)

A common recipe calls for mixed pickling spices and they contain most all the things you list so you might want to try that.

We use sugar, whole cloves, a couple of whole black peppercorns, a bit of salt, whole cinnamon sticks, whole allspice plus some dried onions in ours, just use to taste. And you have the option of using either a spice bag or leaving them free in the brine. A bayleaf is also optional but remove it before canning.

Oh, and cider vinegar, not white.


NCHFP Pickled Beets

Spice House Pickled Beets

RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

I can my beets plain and "pickle" them when I'm ready to eat them.

These are my favorite (a refrigerator recipe, NOT a canning recipe):

2 cups cooked or canned beets, drained (save the juice)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves, powdered
1/2 cut clove garlic
6 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup water (I use the juice from the beets)

Slice the beets and place in a bowl. In another bowl, measure mustard, sugar, salt, cloves and garlic. Add vinegar and water (or beet juice) gradually while stirring. When the mixture is smooth, pour over the beets.
Put in the refrigerator to chill; then remove the garlic, and serve with meat or fish. (I put the beets into quart
jars and make enough liquid to cover - and I leave the garlic in there. Store in the refrigerator.)

I like these because they're not too sweet, but you could play around with the proportions to suit your taste.

RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

I have two different recipes I really like, one fairly standard with cloves, cinnamon, allspice and blade mace (all whole) and with a mixture of brown and white sugar.

The other is more "exotic" with cloves, cinnamon stick, fresh ginger, red wine and red wine vinegar, and sugar.

Both are slight variations of recipes in "Joy of Pickling." I also have tried and like Ellie Topp's in "Small-Batch Preserving."

Why don't you ask her for her recipe? Most people are flattered and enjoy sharing. There are a few grumps who won't, but fortunately they're in the minority, LOL.


RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

Thanks to all for the responses and recipes. I have several to try now.

Carol, what is "blade mace"? I know what the spice mace is -- the aril that surrounds the nutmeg -- it's expensive, with a mild nutmeg flavor. Would I be correct in assuming "blade mace" would be a whole or partially whole dried mace aril, as opposed to the traditional ground mace powder generally found in the spice aisle?

PS -- Aunt Nellie is a brand name owned by a corporation, not a person. They probably wouldn't share their recipe.

RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

Shows what I know. I've never seen Aunt Nellie's anything here. But if you see some on the store shelf, check the ingredient list. Maybe you'll get some helpful hints.

Yes, blade mace is another term for the "webbing" that surrounds the nutmeg. It's a slight difference in flavor, but I like it.


RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

There is a recipe for picked beets in the Blue Ball & Kerr canning book, Also one in Betty Crockers Cookbook for making pickled beets from canned beets. It follows:
2 cans canned beets 16 oz. each sliced beets drained keep liquid. 2Cups sugar 1 Cup Vinegar ( I used applecider vinegar ) 2 sticks cinnamon ( I used 2 teaspoons of pickling spices or 1 teaspoon each of powdered cinnamon, cloves,& allspice) really make your portions to your taste. Add enough water to beet juice to measure 2 Cups. Heat liquid mixture, sugar, vinegar & spice mixture to boiling, pour over beets. Cover & refrigerate at least 12 Hrs. Hope this helps

RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

  • Posted by skeip 4b / 5a WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 7, 11 at 12:36

I recently had a selection of "pickles" as an appetizer at a local high end restaurant. One of them was a Beet pickle. I love Beets in any form except pickled, but I tried them anyway. They were amazing. We tasted over and oever trying to decide what the elusive flavor was. Turns out these were house-pickled and the chef revealed the secret ingredient was vanilla. I will be tinkering with my own beets next season to see if I can recreate that taste.


RE: 'Aunt Nellie's Pickled Beets' vs. my home-made ones.

Here is a previous thread with some additional recipes in it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pickled beets recipes

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