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Hot Mexican Pickled Carrots

Sooooo…..once upon a weekend I was graciously given a ginormous bag of the most beautiful carrots…. (Thank you again Kayla!) My first thought was to just slice, vacuum seal and freeze these babies… Aren’t they beauties? Even though they are HUGE they are tender and sweet as well.

But then….. You know that little bowl of carrots, peppers and onions that you are blessed with at a good mexican restaurant? That’s where my brain went. We are so fortunate to get them at our local spot Morales… which also has the best guac in town in my opinion. Of course I used ingredients and methods from several different recipes I scoured off the internet. I prefer to can things the old school way… because of my irrational fear of food poisoning (just ask my husband when he tries to leave ANYTHING out). But I think you could small-batch quick can (hubs preferred method) with these as well OR just store in the refrigerator.

This recipe made 5 full pint jars with an extra on the side about 1/2 full. I “canned” the 5 full jars and stored the leftover jar in the refrigerator. When I say “canned” I mean processed the old fashioned way… sterilized jars and lids, then processed in a water bath for 10-25 minutes depending on what I am canning. I use the Ball jar guidelines… you can find them here. https://www.freshpreserving.com/waterbath-canning.html Now there is also pressure canning… which is a whole different ball game. Well not really but kinda.

Now as far as equipment… I have a large canning pot I bought from the walmarts…. very inexpensive with a jar rack…. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Granite-Ware-21-5-Quart-Canner-with-Jar-Rack/10543332 and a kit of nifty tools that include a funnel, jar lifter, etc. None of these are necessary… but they make the process MUCH easier… Back in the day I have used a stock pot and an interesting array of spoons, spatulas, tongs, refrigerator magnets, towels and burn cream to can… but I HIGHLY recommend the above… especially if you aren’t a fan of boiling water and hot jar burns. Just saying.

I also am fortunate to have an outdoor stove with rocket fueled burners that will bring that water to a boil in a jiffy…. which also keeps from heating up your home in satan’s playhouse…. also known as October in Texas.

So now for the good stuff… I used 2-3 lbs of carrots for this batch…. just peeled, washed and sliced.

A couple of medium white onions sliced, a handful of peppers from the garden (jalapeno & serrano) sliced with the seeds, 10-12 fresh garlic cloves, mexican oregano and cumin seeds are also coming to this fiesta. Mexican oregano is my new friend…. it adds that taste that is purely tex-mex. Don’t be intimidated… its easy to find on the spice aisle with the hanging bagged spices… usally Fiesta brand…. I love Fiesta seasonings…. and the fact you can order them in bulk directly from Fiesta online….

So to start, let’s get them jars, lids and rings sterilized by boiling them for 10 minutes; then remove to a clean towel, being careful not to touch seals or jar rims. This is where you thank me for begging you to buy the tool kit. Also, I always sterilize 1-2 jars more than I think I need, just in case…. Once jars have cooled a bit, add in a couple of garlic cloves, mexican oregano and cumin seed to each jar.

Now get your vinegar, water, sugar and canning salt (No do not use table/iodized salt; Yes there is a difference) going and bring to a boil. Add in your carrots, onions and peppers, or pee-pers as the hubs calls them and bring all of this back to a rolling boil. Then turn off the heat, slam a lid on it and let it hang out for 10-15 minutes.

Pack the jars with the veggies and pour your hot, burning lava juice into the jars until it reaches 1/2″ from the rim…. and give them jars a good tap to release the bubbles. This is where that fabulous funnel comes in. Wipe the rim with a CLEAN towel, or the underside of your shirt (just kidding) place your lids and hand tighten your rings. HAND TIGHTEN. That is it. Over tightening will cause them not to seal and then you’ll cry and blame me for your unsealed carrot issues. And don’t let your husband sneak up and tighten them some more because he’s freaking out that you didn’t torque them down like a lug nut on a race car. And in to the pot they go….. bring em up to boil, let em dance for 10-15 and turn off the heat….Let them sit for 5 minutes or so.

Veeery carefully remove from the pot and place your jars on a towel – never on a cold surface, cause that will make em crack and you’ll have a whole mess on your hands. I really like to use the cardboard box that my jars came in to set them in after processing. Makes em easy to transport. Now just sit back and wait for the tell tale schhlooooop-pop! that lets you know they sealed. I love that noise. Once they are cooled, store in your pantry away from light and heat. I’d let em sit a month or so… the longer the better. Now hunt you up some carrots and get after it! Recipe below!

Hot Mexican Pickled Carrots

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs. carrots, washed, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced
  • Jalepenos/serrano peppers
  • 8-10 garlic cloves (1-2 per jar)
  • ½  teaspoon Mexican oregano per jar
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed per jar
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 4-6 pint canning jars, lids and rings

Directions

Get all your business together…. Wash, peel and slice your carrots. Slice onions and jalapenos. Get your jars sterilized (10 minutes at a rolling boil) and set them out on a clean dish towel to cool.   Once cool, add garlic and spices to jars.  Combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a pot and get it boiling.  Once boiling, add your carrots, peppers and onions and return to a boil, then turn off heat. Let stand 10-15 minutes with lid on your pot.  Pack jars with veggies and fill with liquid ½ from rim of jar.  Wipe jar rim clean, place lids and HAND TIGHTEN rings.  Return to canning pot and process at a boil for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove from pot to clean towel until cooled and sealed.

Tips

  • Peppers – we used a combo of jalapenos and Serrano – I fear they may be quite hot. We also left seeds and membrane intact…. Go with your taste on how hot you want them.
  • Canning – make sure your jars are completely submerged when processing.
  • To ensure they are sealed, press down on the middle of the lid 24 hours later. If it pops back – it did not seal. You can either reprocess (NOT) or store in the refrigerator.
  • If you don’t want to process these, they will keep in the refrigerator for 2 months.