Sweet & Sour Pickled Beetroot

This is a family recipe that came from Tipperary, Ireland when our relatives came to New Zealand in 1864. The recipe gives the beetroot a bit of a sweet / sour taste and really brings out the flavour of the beetroot.

When I first ate tinned beetroot I couldn’t believe how bland it was, and truly couldn’t understand how anyone could like beetroot. This is the ONLY way I will eat beetroot and as you can see from above – has been in our family for many generations.



  • 6 x beetroot
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of malt vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Jars with sealable tops (or preserving jars)



  1. Cut the stalks off each beetroot (don’t cut into the beetroot), and put in a pot full of cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil, and continue to boil until tender (when a knife can easily poke through). Don’t overcook it though – you need to be able to slice it easily.
  3. Take it off the heat and let it cool in it’s own juice for about an hour (or until cool)
  4. In another pot, get a cup of sugar, a cup of malt vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir until dissolved while it’s heating, and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes.
  5. In the meantime, drain off the cooked beetroot
  6. Peel off the skin by hand. If it’s still warm, run under cold water and peel at the same time.
  7. Slice the beetroot up thinly (or thickly), or cut into cubes – you can do whatever you want really depending on what you like.
  8. Fill up some jars with the sliced/cut beetroot.
  9. Tip the vinegar/sugar mixture into each jar and fill to the top.
  10. Seal with a lid and let it cool completely before storing in the pantry or refrigerating



  • I find you need to give the beetroot a week for the flavour to really settle in.
  • You can store the beetroot for a while because the vinegar will pickle it.


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