by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
Nobody ever says, “Can I have your beets?”
— Bill Cosby, comedian, actor, educator, inmate.
Pickled red beet eggs are a traditional Pennsylvania German dish. Like many foods, eggs were originally pickled to preserve them so they could be eaten later. Red beet eggs became a favorite as a snack or appetizer—popular in pubs, bars, and taverns and usually kept behind the bar in a big glass apothecary or deli-pickle jars.
They're also fun and delicious, perfect for picnics or family gatherings. Red Beet Eggs are traditionally served at holiday meals and make a great alternative to colored eggs at Easter.
12 whole eggs
1 cup beet juice, drained, liquid reserved
11/2 cup vinegar
11/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick (optional}
Cook hard-boiled eggs (refer to "How to Cook Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs" in appendix) and peel.
Drain and reserve beet juice from 2 cans of beets—enough to make 1 cup. Mix reserved beet juice, vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling, and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
In a wide-mouth jar, place eggs mixed with sliced or quartered beets. If you don't use all he beets they can e served as a side, a plate garnish, or just do what I do and throw them out. I love red beet eggs but hate beers. Pour hot liquid over the eggs and beets. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour and then refrigerate for several days. Add cinnamon stick if you want to get fancy.
The length of time dictates the depth that the beet juice will penetrate. Some like it to only penetrate the surface—about a 1-day wait. I prefer to wait 3 days for it to reach the edge of the yolk. Others like it to penetrate yolks as well, so wait longer than 3 days if that is what you prefer.
Remove from beet juice, halve each egg, and serve.
Note: Pickled eggs should never be at room temperature except for serving time, and should be limited to no more than two hours in the temperature danger zone of 40-140°F. Eggs will last 3-4 months under refrigeration.
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