New Recipe: Polish Pickled Beets {Buraczki w Occie}

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Polish Pickled Beets {Buraczki w Occie}

Buraczki [boo-rah-chkee], the queen of all vegetables… as far as Poles are concerned. She, along with cabbage and potatoes, rules our world. We eat beets in soups, cold salads or hot side dishes. The more, the better.

If you spent any time around Polish people, especially the older generation, you will know that growing a garden was always part of existence. Give us a chance, and a small patch of a yard becomes a bountiful garden with rows of parsley, onions, cucumbers, beets, carrots, leeks, tomatoes and string beans. It was none other in my grandparent’s house, on both sides of the family. On one hand, it was a necessity – dad grew up with four brothers and one sister and a hard working dad. No amount of food was ever enough to feed boys with bottomless stomachs – and convenience on the other – with a bit of work, food was always available.

Crops were harvested at the end of the season and processed for the winter. Carrots, potatoes and onions stored in a cool food cellar, cabbage soured in a barrel and cucumbers pickled, fruits made into juices and jams.

As far as beets go, grandma always made 2 different types of pickling. Whole beets in vinegary brine and shredded beets – finely shredded for fried beets, and course shred for salads and soups. Both methods result in a sweet and only a tiny bit sour beet, ready to be transformed into a dish in no time.

I’m sharing both methods with you today.

Polish Pickled Beets {Buraczki w Occie}

 

Polish pickled beets; Polish food recipes; canning

Polish Pickled Beets {Buraczki w Occie}

  • Prep Time: 2 hrs
  • Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • Shredded beets:
  • 4 lbs / 2kg of whole raw beets (about 8 cups of cooked and shredded beets)
  • 5 tbs of vinegar (10% strength)
  • 2 tbs of sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp of salt
  • ***********************************************************
  • And a recipe for the brine for whole beets below. You can make a desired amount of beets in any size jars you have, just follow this recipe for brine. Double, triple the recipe, if needed.
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 tbs of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar

Instructions

  1. For both recipes, preheat oven to 350℉ / 180℃.

  2. Wash raw beets and place in an oven safe container (unpeeled), add a 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the dish, cover and bake until beets are soft - 1 to 2 hours, depending on their size.

  3. In the mean time, sanitize jars and lids.

  4. Once beets are soft, cool and peel. I save the smaller beets to be pickled whole and the larger ones to be shredded.

  5. Place those to be pickled whole in sanitized jars, cut in half, if needed. Shred the rest. I used a food processor with the course grating attachment, and saved a lot of time.

  6. Prepare brine for whole beets. Pour over whole beets, cover with lids.

  7. Shredded batch: add vinegar, sugar and salt, mix to combine. Taste, add a bit more salt, if needed.

  8. Place in jars, cover with lids.

  9. Place all jars on a baking tray and in the oven. Turn oven to 215℉ / 100℃. Bake for 30 minutes from the time the oven comes to temperature. Turn off and let cool with oven doors cracked. Take out and check the seal.

  10. Store jars in the pantry until ready to use.

Notes

I found that baking beets is the best method of preparing them for pickling. Baking them whole and unpeeled preserves their color (as seen on photos) and keeps flavor in.

Below are some suggestions of how to use them. Click on each item to see the recipes:

Whole beets:

  1. Ukrainian style beet soup {barszcz ukraiński}
  2. Christmas beetroot broth {barszcz wigilijny}
  3. Fried beets {buraczki zasmażane} – they will have to be finely shredded though.
  4. “Clear” beet soup {barszcz czerwony}
  5. Cold beet soup {chłodnik}

Shredded beets:

  1. Beet salad {surówka z buraczków}
  2. Creamy beet soup {barszcz czerwony ze śmietaną}
  3. Cold beet soup {chłodnik}

You can make life easier and just pickle beets whole. Those can then be used for all of the above, shredded coarsely or finely, or kept whole.

Good luck! Please share your results!

Smacznego!

Anna


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4 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to try your oven baked Pickled Beets! I loved the beetroot salads while in Poland recently so hopefully this will be my base for making beetroot and carrot salads.
    Thanks Anna
    Veronica
    Australia

  2. This looks great and will try it latter this week. Growing up in a Polish Catholic home, we had hard cooked eggs and beets pickled. Is this recipes similar?

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