I come from the Midwest, from a very German-Polish part of town. Growing up I had the slow-cooker sauerkraut & sausage, the particular potato salad but nasty of them all–the pickled eggs. Pickled eggs were a staple of my grandfather’s diet, he always had a jar of those disgusting, brined eggs in his fridge with their nasty artificial dye. As a kid, I and my 12 cousins dared each other to eat those things. In later life I’ve come to understand that in some places this is typical bar food. But I will not eat anything for which red dye #40 is a prime ingredient, so I went homemade to try these things…
6 hard-boiled eggs (and if you look back I have the technique for hard-boiled eggs spelled out.)
1 can of beets, juice reserved. I broke protocol and used canned beets for this. Fresh is obviously better but I would’ve paid twice the price for secondary beets. An optimal recipe would be one raw beet, sliced, boiled and the cooking juice reserved; but, the beets are not the focus of this so use canned at will.
1/2c beet juice, as from above, or made via fresh beets
1/2c cider vinegar, or white vinegar, hardly matters here
1 tsp salt
smathering pickling spice. If you don’t have pickling spice, but have spices, don’t fret. Add bay leaves, cloves, mustard seed, ginger, peppercorns, juniper, allspice, coriander. etc. This is where you get creative. If you don’t understand “smathering” go with about a tablespoon or so.
1 crushed clove of garlic, skin off, just smash that thing on a cutting board with the flat edge of a knife
Place the eggs into a clean jar. I used an old, glass pasta sauce jar that I immersed in boiling water for a few minutes. As this is not pickling outside of a fridge, you don’t have to fret about bacteria, but boiling a glass jar does let you rest easy and control flavor. Shell the eggs and drop them into the jar. Add about 1/2 a cup of beet juice and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Toss in 1/4 cup of sugar and the spices. If your eggs aren’t covered with liquid entirely, place more of the 50-50 ratio onto it. Place the lid over the jar and shake vigorously. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to one day.
Advice, comrade: You’ll see recipes telling you to cook the ingredients together before you pour it onto the eggs. That’s ridiculous. A marinade like this does not need cooking to incorporate the flavors. You’re going to let it stand for over four hours, that’s plenty of time for admixture. However shaking the jar a bit, like once an hour, is not a bad idea