Swedish Pickled Beets

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INGREDIENTS

SWEDISH VINEGAR

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 small carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 allspice berries

BEETS

  • 4 medium beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed and scrubbed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 piece (3 inches) fresh horseradish, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 quarts water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Swedish vinegar: Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  2. Beets: Put beets in a medium pot; add bay leaves, allspice berries, horseradish, and water. Bring to a boil, and cook until beets are tender when pierced, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain. When cool enough to handle but still warm, peel and cut into quarters.
  3. Transfer beets to a nonreactive container with a tight-fitting lid, and pour vinegar over them. Cover, and refrigerate at least 2 days and up to 1 week before serving.
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