Yields 4 pints
6 lbs small beets
2¼ cups red-wine vinegar
2¼ cups red wine
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 pod Star Anise
Trim the beet greens to 1 inch above the root (save the greens for dinner – they make a delicious salad). Boil the beets whole in unsalted water for 30- 40 minutes, until just tender.
While the beats are cooking, prepare the vinegar syrup. Combine all the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the beets are tender, drain and plunge them into ice water. In the water, slip the beets out of their skins. Halve or quarter the beets as preferred. Pack the beets into 4 prepared pint jars.
Bring the syrup back to a boil. Discard the star anise. Ladle the syrup into the jars leaving a ½ inch of head space. Stir the jars gently to remove any air pockets. Seal the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Allow to cure for at least one week before opening.