Sunday, 16 November 2014

Let's get pickled!

It's Saturday night, I'm in my twenties and I'm getting pickled - oh no, not in the way you're thinking, if you're hoping for debauched stories then sorry to disappoint, I'm talking about the process of preserving food by fermentation, please do try to stay with me because this is surprisingly pretty cool.

The hairy, beardy weirdy soon-to-be husband of mine is the real foodie in our house, he likes to cook, experiment and is quite frankly somewhat of a culinary genius, this works out incredibly well for me because I love to eat, taste and review all his creations -  it's an excellent partnership!

On the menu this weekend is a recipe inspired by two of our favourite ingredients - eggs and beetroot, not a traditional pairing I admit but the idea came from London based BBQ restaurant Pitt Cue's cookbook. I picked it up at a work book sale last year, it's American Southern inspired BBQ recipes all served with distinctive British sides, ahem please give a round of applause for classic bar snack staple the pickled egg, yes that's right you've guessed it we're making beetroot pickled eggs - yum!

We dug out the Kilner jars ready for a hardcore weekend of pickling around, the process is actual quite straightforward but don't forget to sterilize the jars before you get started. Beetroot pickled eggs are perfect to make in advance of a picnic, weekend away or even just to have in the pantry (if you are posh enough to have one) to serve with cold meats on Boxing Day. The good news is the flavour is said to improve and the colour of the egg darkens the longer they are left in the jar to pickle, so they should be looking and tasting delicious by Christmas!

Being impatient and intrigued by the flavour, we tried our first batch today and they are surprisingly sweet and earthy tasting nothing like an actual pickled egg which always seems to have an overwhelming taste of vinegar. The pickling trend is well and truly rooted in our household, looks like carrots and mushrooms are up next as two more jars have appeared in the last 24 hours.Who knows what we'll be pickling by next weekend!

If you're in your late twenties living a rock n roll lifestyle just like me then do give this a whirl and feel free to share any other ideas to keep us busy on the weekend. Here's the recipe - happy pickling! 

Small free range brown Burford eggs 12
Pickle Brine 700ml
Beetroot Juice 700ml 

Boil eggs for 6 minutes 
Remove, roll lightly on surface to give cracked mosaic look to the shells
Place brine and Beetroot juice in a large bowl (we made the brine but you can buy it) 
Add eggs, allow to cool
Refrigerate in a sterilized jar and allow to pickle for 2 days - 2 weeks. 

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