Beets Every Which Way: Red Wine Vinegar Beets

picked beets from a bird's eye view

I have a beet problem, which is to say that I love pickled beets, which means I’m worried that I’m missing out on the perfect pickled beet recipe. That means I experiment a lot with them. My rule has been that when I make them, I make my current favorite recipe alongside a new recipe, so I can taste them against each other. Sometimes the new recipe goes on repeat and sometimes it just goes into my notes, to be revived if I think a friend or guest will enjoy it.

Today’s recipe is a riff on red wine beets, which are delicious but not common in our house because I don’t usually keep red wine around.


  • 1 lb beets steamed, roasted, or boiled beets, sliced or quartered*, liquid reserved if boiled
  • 1 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. liquid from boiling beets or nonchlorinated water
  • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp whole allspice, cracked
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 5-10 black peppercorns
  • half stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Boil vinegar, water, and spices, then cool slightly; strain. Pour over beets in a heat-proof jar. Refrigerate*

You can steam them by covering them in tin foil and placing in a roasting pan at 400 degrees. Roast by putting them in a roasting pan with olive oil at 400 degrees. Or place beets in enough water to cover and boil 1-2 hours until soft. In any case, wash thoroughly but do not peel before you begin and leave 1-2 inches of tops intact. After the beets are cooked, the skins slip right off.


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