I think my pickled beet and egg devotion has two sources: I spent enough of my childhood in a small country town to appreciate the beauty that is home canned pickles AND both my mother and grandmother made refrigerator pickled beets and added eggs to the jar.
Until recently I had never attempted pickled beets or eggs until I found some new fall beets at the farmers market. The beets were perfectly petite for pickling. Adding the eggs to the pickled beets is kind of like putting food coloring in daisy water and watching daisies turn different colors. It’s magical no matter how old you are!
The pickled beet and egg recipe is intentionally designed for making pickled beet deviled eggs. Extra mustard seeds and red onions slices are added to the brine since they also become pickled to add extra flavor to the eggs. The combination of strong spices is also necessary to have the taste of the brine rise above the more commonly found prepared pickling spice mix.
I love sweet bread and butter pickles, so I intentionally add a bit more sugar than most folks would to the beet brine for a bigger sweet and vinegary pickle contrast. If desired, this can be cut back by almost half to taste.
At the same country picnics of my youth where pickles appeared, there were also multiple iterations of deviled eggs, even at warm summer pool parties. This was back when I was blessedly ignorant about the dangers of leaving eggs and mayonnaise sitting in the hot sun. I’ve never seen or tasted the combination of pickled beet deviled eggs until I made them, yet it’s a natural fit since so many deviled egg recipes have pickle relish, pickles or even pickle juice added.
The recipe for pickled beet deviled eggs is below the pickled beet and egg recipe. If you like pickled beets, you’ll love their intensity. The color is also memorable! The pickled beets, eggs and onion slices can also be served as appetizers on their own merit. Garnish with the pickled mustard seeds for extra flavor and a little crunch.
Pickled Beets and Eggs Recipe
2 cups small beets; around 8-9
4 large eggs
½ small red onion, sliced thin lengthwise
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup water
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 Tbs kosher salt
1) Preheat the oven to 400°.
2) Wrap the beets in foil and roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut the ends off the beets. Rub the beets between two pieces of paper towel to remove skin. Set aside.
3) Cover eggs with at least 1 inch of water in small saucepan. Over medium high heat bring water to a boil. Once water boils, remove from heat, cover and let sit, covered, exactly 12 minutes. Place eggs in mesh strainer and cool under cold running water. Peel before using.
4) Place peeled roasted beets, hard-boiled eggs, and sliced onions in large container (they look particularly homey and inviting layered in clean canning jars)
5) In medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, spices and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour hot brine over beets, eggs, and onions. Make sure brine completely covers eggs and beets.
6) Cover tightly and refrigerator two days before eating. As long as eggs and beets are covered with brine, they will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.
NOTE: This recipe makes a small batch of refrigerator pickled beets and eggs. It is not developed for safe canning.
Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs Recipe
4 large pickled beet eggs (½ cup yolk)
3 Tbs mayonnaise
2 tsp diced pickled beets
2 tsp diced pickled red onions
1 tsp pickled mustard seeds (from brine)
1 tsp pickled beet brine
dash hot sauce (such as Tabasco) or pinch cayenne pepper
pinch kosher salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1) With sharp knife, cut pickled beets in half lengthwise.
2) Carefully remove yolk without tearing egg white.
3) Grate yolks on grater into small bowl.
4) Add pickled beets, pickled red onions, mustard seeds, salt, black pepper, and mayonnaise to yolks.
5) Mix until smooth. Gently fill egg whites with egg yolk mixture. The pickled beets and pickled mustard seeds can also be used as a garnish instead of mixed into the yolk.