Shockingly, electrically, remarkably pink eggs and pickled beetroot make a vinegary, tangy and decidedly moreish snack.
Moreish being the British way to say that you can't possibly stop eating this tasty treat, you crave more.
It's just a little bit magic how deep ruby beets stain pristine whites what might be considered a lurid color on anything less down-to-earth than a pickled egg.
Pink pickled eggs elevate the regular pickled egg from common, even a little rough-and-tumble, pub snack to something decidedly more fun.
How can you not be fun when you are a pink pickled egg?
These pickled eggs would not be out of place sliced or quartered alongside some crustless cucumber finger sandwiches.
Strewn across a fresh green salad. In a chicken salad sandwich.
If you simply can't fight it, eat straight with a nice cold beer. Sprinkle with a generous shower of crunchy, flaky salt.
Try it the British way, liberally covered in freshly ground pepper or sloshed with some Worcestershire sauce.
If you're daring, drop one into a packet of potato chips (that's crisps to you Brits) and scrunch around, for a crunchy, salty, pickly, eggy treat.
Pickled Eggs and Beetroot.
1 tablespoon peppercorns (pink if you have them, for the color theme, or black)
2 sprigs fresh tarragon (I used Mexican tarragon)
6 small to medium beets, roasted (7 ounces, 200 g total)
6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
For the pickling juice:
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water (including any beet juice from roasting)
1 tablespoon sugar
You will also need a sterilized, quart-sized canning jar.
To roast beets: wash the beets thoroughly to remove any dirt, and trim the greens to within an inch of the beetroot. Reserve the greens to eat like spinach. Rub each beet generously with olive oil and place in a small pan that they can all fit easily, but relatively snugly, into (for example, 7 or 8-inch square by 2 inch high). Add a slosh of water and cover the pan completely and tightly with aluminum foil. Roast on 350 degrees F for 45 minute to an hour or more, until a knife slides easily into and through the beet. If you check, and the beets are not done, recover tightly with foil and put back into the oven. When roasted, remove from the oven and cool until warm. While still warm, rub the beets and the skins will slide off. I wear rubber gloves for this, as te beets will stain your hands pink.
Cut the beets into quarters, if small, and eighths if large.
Measure the peppercorns into the bottom of a quart-sized canning jar. Layer the beets and eggs into the canning jar, starting and ending with beets and making two layers of 3 eggs each. Add the tarragon sprigs to the canning jar, pushing them down the sides of the jar so the tops are even with or below the highest layer of beets.
Mix the vinegar, water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is just dissolved, then pour over the beets and eggs, making sure all the beets and eggs are covered completely.
Allow to cool on the counter, cover with a vinegar-resistant lid (plastic or coated metal), then store in the refrigerator.
The eggs and beets are pickled and ready to eat after 2-3 days, but the pickling will continue to get stronger and the pink color will continue to get darker and soak deeper into the eggs the longer they are left to pickle.
In British pubs, these are kept, unrefrigerated, in giant vats on bar counters for God knows how long. If you prefer to have some measure of food safety about you, keep refrigerated and eat within 2 to 3 weeks.