This recipe for beet chutney is similar to pickled beets, but it is sweeter, it can be eaten with a spoon, and it is more fun. It won’t take long for it to become one of your go-to condiments if you enjoy beets. Put it in jars and you’ll have ready-made food all year long.
Raise your hands if you’re a fan of beets! I’ve never met a beet recipe I didn’t enjoy. On the other hand, I have encountered several that I loved better than others, and this particular one is my all-time favorite. When my favorite farmers at the local market have an excess of beets throughout the summer, that is when I make batches of canned beets.
It’s a combination between pickled beets and chutney made in the English tradition, complete with plump raisins and other aromatic spices (the sweet-tart goopy kind). It goes particularly well with cheese plates, but it is also delicious when mixed with green salads or spooned over the kinds of grown-up sandwiches (open-faced braunschweiger or liverwurst) that I used to look down my nose at when I was a kid.
Be sure to give this beet chutney a try if you’re a fan of pickled beets. Because the beets have been cut into little cubes, this relish can be easily portioned out with a spoon; you’ll probably find that it quickly becomes one of your go-to condiments.
Can You…or Can’t You Make This Recipe?
My go-to method for preserving beet chutney is the water-bath canning method since it allows me to have a supply on hand throughout the year. It is remarkable how just a small amount of this relish’s earthy-sweet taste and beautiful hue can perk up an otherwise boring meal. Additionally, I have a steady record of other Beet Believers who are always excited to get jars as presents.
Are you a novice canner? This is the Information That You Should Have
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You aren’t into canning, are you? This recipe can still be prepared by you. Jars that have not been processed in a water bath can be stored in the refrigerator for a few months, or even for a longer period of time.
Alternate Recipes and Ingredients for Beet Chutney
Because it can become unhealthy for water-bath canning if you cut back on the sugar or replace it with another sweetener, I do not advocate doing any of those things. In addition, I appreciate how the somewhat sweet white sugar allows the spices and beets to take center stage in this dish. Try this recipe for pickled beets if you’re looking for one that’s low in sugar (which is not made for canning).
Ensure that the vinegar you use has a 5% acidity level if you use any other type of vinegar other than apple cider vinegar (it should say on the label somewhere). Because I enjoy the subtle cider flavor that it contributes, I’ve always relied on good old-fashioned apple cider vinegar.
I ask for prepared whole-grain mustard, which is an odd component in pickles and chutneys because entire mustard seeds are typically what you’d find in such dishes. You may use 1 tablespoon of whole yellow or black mustard seeds instead of the prepared mustard made with whole grains, which is my personal choice due to the higher level of complexity it offers. I would recommend staying away from the ground and preparing mustards like Dijon. Maille mustard is my go-to pick for whole-grain mustard.
Shallots are not something that everyone has on hand. I really wish I did since their flavor is so much better than onions, but their price is so much more. Because life is so short, I don’t mind spending a little extra money on the pricey tiny shallot called for in this recipe. You might use a quarter to a half of a white, yellow, or red onion that has been minced very finely instead.
Do you not enjoy eating raisins? You can ignore them. In this recipe, I like to use golden raisins, although black raisins will also do the trick.
Additional Recipes That Are Unrivaled When It Comes to Beets
- Eggs in a pickling brine with beets
- Beet Salad with Citrus Dressing, Served with Kale and Pistachios
- Roasted beets topped with balsamic vinegar and called “hummus”
- 2 and a half pounds of whole beets, washed and with the stems and long tails removed
- 1 cinnamon stick measuring between 2 and 3 inches
- 2 full cloves of garlic
- 4 cardamom pods in their entirety and 6 allspice berries in their entirety
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 medium-sized shallot, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of mustard made with healthy grains
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 ounce of water
Be sure to cook the beets:
- You can choose to either boil or cook the beets under pressure.
- Put the beets in a big pot or saucepan and add enough water to cover them by an inch. Bring the beets to a boil this way. Place the lid on the pan, then place the pan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Cook the beets at a vigorous simmer for anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes, or until they are soft enough to easily slip a paring knife in them, after which the heat should be reduced to a low simmer (your cook time will depend on the size and freshness of your beets).
- Put one cup of water into the bottom of a pressure cooker so that the beets may be cooked under pressure. After placing a rack for steaming on the very top, add the beets. Be sure to secure the cover before bringing the pot to high pressure and then cooking the beets under pressure for a total of 12 minutes for smaller beets and 18 minutes for bigger beets.
- After using a fast release, try the beets to see whether they are done; they should be soft enough that a paring knife may easily slip into them. If the beets have not yet softened, the pressure should be brought back up, and they should be cooked in increments of 2 minutes until they are completely done.
- After the beets have been cooked, place them in a bowl and set them aside to cool.
- Be sure to remove the beets’ skins after they have been cooked and allowed to cool to the point where they can be handled. If there are any skins that are still on, you can receive some help using a paring knife or a vegetable peeler.
- Peel the beets and dice them into pieces no larger than half an inch.
Prepare the canning equipment and the jars:
- Prepare a canner for processing food using a water bath and a canning rack. Put at least an inch of water on top of the canning jars that you’ve added to the canner, as well as three pint-sized or seven half-pint-sized jars. Start the water boiling in a pot.
- Warm soapy water should be used to clean the rings and lids.
Prepare the seasonings by:
While the water in the water bath is heating up, prepare the spice mixture by placing the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, and allspice in a square of cheesecloth and tying it off with some kitchen thread. Make sure that you leave enough length on one end of the twine so that you can knot it around the handles of the pot.
Prepare the chutney by:
- Place the diced beets, sugar, raisins, shallots, mustard, salt, vinegar, and water in a big saucepan made of enameled steel or stainless steel and stir to incorporate. A Dutch oven with a capacity of 5 quarts works well. The quicker the cooking time will be, the broader the pot that you use.
- Put the cheesecloth bundle in the pot after you have tied the long end of the twine to one of the pot handles. Doing so will help you maintain track of the bundle and ensure that you do not accidentally put it in a jar when you are processing it for preservation.
- Make one stir. Cover, then place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook the mixture uncovered, stirring periodically, for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid has become somewhat syrupy and a little bit thicker. (Unlike some other types of chutney, beet chutney will not get sticky and jammy as it reduces; instead, the liquid will build somebody as it cooks down, but it will never become genuinely thick. The liquid is more similar to brine than anything else.
Put the chutney in jars:
- Take the package wrapped in cheesecloth out and dispose of it. Remove the jars from the canner using jar lifters, and then empty the water that is now contained within the jars back into the original pot. Place them on a fresh dish towel that’s been laid out on the counter.
- Place the hot chutney in the heated jars using a spoon, ensuring that the liquid is distributed evenly among the jars, and ensuring that there is a gap of at least half an inch between the top of the chutney and the lip of the jar. If there is not enough liquid to reach a level with the pieces of beet, boil some additional water and use it to fill the jars to the appropriate level.
- Turn the caps until they are just about airtight. Put the jars into the canner and check to see that there is at least an inch and a half of water above the rims of each jar before proceeding. Bring to a boil and continue processing for another ten minutes.
- Take the jars out of the canner and place them on the dish towel when you’ve done so. When the jars reach room temperature, a vacuum will form inside of them, and you may hear a pop when this occurs.
- If after 12 hours the jars have not been sealed, you can put them back in the water bath and continue the sterilization procedure in boiling water for another 10 minutes. In the event that a jar would not seal, simply allow it to cool and store it in the refrigerator as you would any other open jar of pickles.
The chutney tastes best when its flavors have been allowed to mingle together for a few days. Once the chutney jar has been opened, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two months.
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