For Christmas, one of my coworkers made me pickled beets with quail eggs. They were beautiful and delicious little gems. Craig was obsessed. I kept finding little red drips all over the counter from him taking the jar out and stealing one of the morsels for a quick snack. We finally finished the jar and Craig has been feinding lately, so I set out to replicate them as best I could. It helped that she gave me the recipe. Start out with quail eggs. I got mine from our local Asian supermarket. They cost $2.29/10. I dropped them into boiling water, 10 at a time and boiled for 4 minutes, as my compulsive research suggested would create a perfectly boiled quail egg. It worked! No green, but fully cooked yolk!
Then set the eggs aside to cool down. Get your beets out. For some reason, the asian supermarket also has these enormous beets for only $1/lb. So I just used the gigantors. As such, I peeled and sliced them prior to boiling instead of after.
While the beets boil, peel your eggs. This will take a while. They’re tiny, and there are lots of them. But the insides of quail eggs are a gorgeous pale tiffany blue.
Then you prep your jar, and start layering your beets and eggs.
Now get started on your brine. The recipe for the brine is:
2c cider vinegar
1c beet boiling water
2tsp kosher salt
2Tb mustard seeds
Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Cool for a while before pouring into the jar. Let sit for a few hours to cool. Now here is where you want to avoid doing what I did. Don’t put super hot liquid in a jar, seal it, then decide to rinse the spilled brine off using your faucet that has very cold water coming out of it. You may imagine that this would be a quick way to experience an exploding jar, super hot vinegary beet juice pouring out of the jar, and numerous splinters of shattered glass going all over your sink and impregnating the food you just spent 2 hours making. You would be correct in that assumption. I’ve made pickled beets twice this week as a result.