Pickled Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs – eggs are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Not only are they full of B vitamins, selenium, choline, and phosphorous. But they are a high-quality source of protein and fat and will help keep your hunger satisfied. In hard boiled eggs the cholesterol in the yolk is not converted to the bad cholesterol as it is in the cooking process.
I recommend making a batch in your Instant Pot, on the rack insert, 5 minutes high pressure, sit 5 minutes (I start a 10 minute timer on the first beep). At 5 minutes perform a safe quick release and quickly
quench the eggs in cold water, just use a pot holder to lift the pan out of the Instant Pot place it in the sink and run cold water into the pan. Change the water several times to cool the eggs quickly. Once the eggs have cooled, peel them and rinse to remove any bits of shell. Now at this point you can just store them dry and airtight in the fridge and they are good all week.
I like to pickle my eggs. That’s easier than it sounds, we just brine them in a salt solution to slow bacterial action. Not only do they last for weeks or months, you can instill a boat load of flavor and even some interesting colors as part of the process. And you can do it in a mason jar in your refrigerator.
Boil some water, I find it a good idea to make more brine than I’m going to use. A good brine is one cup of water to one tablespoon of salt, and it’s a good idea to mix it in a separate vessel. A 2 quart glass mixing bowl with a handle and a spout is what I use, measure, pour and not get burned all in one.
Place your eggs in a clean quart mason jar, add whatever spices or extras you like to the top and fill the jar to the bottom of the brim with the brine solution. Always leave a little head space at the top of the jar. Tightly cap with a fresh lid and ring. Any rust will ruin your ferment. Leave to set for a few days and enjoy.
That’s it, so EASY!
But wait, there’s more. While the basic instruction makes basic eggs which are good textured and salty but less so than sprinkling salt when you eat, here’s where we can make this a thousand different dishes! We can add any flavor you want at this point and it will soak into the egg.
Your palate and spice cupboard may be different to mine, but I have a few must have spices in my pickled eggs. Mustard and cumin seed, whole coriander and caraway, black peppercorns or grains of paradise, allspice and juniper berries, a bay leaf, all work well in combination with each other. Aromatic vegetables like shallots, onions and garlic (fresh or dried) work great as well, and a bit of pickled onion goes well with an egg. If you like it spicy, add a fresh or dried pepper, whole, sliced or in flakes. I find this a great use for those little peppers from the decorative pepper plant, but I have been known to put roasted or dried peppers of all sorts in my eggs. When I have them around I have put fresh sprigs of rosemary, fennel or dill into the brine. Add a portion of malt or apple cider vinegar or even. For colors, you can add beets or carmine to the brine for a reddish purple color, Saffron or turmeric for yellow. Use your pickled eggs for more than eating whole. Sliced on a salad, mashed for egg salad, and they make awesome deviled eggs.
Remember the texture gets firmer in the brine.
Pickled eggs will remain fresh for months in the fridge, I have often decanted a bit of brine and eggs in a smaller jar and traveled with it at room temperature for several days. Be careful though, keeping eggs in the “Danger Zone”. It’s easy to spat, or sniff, a ferment that has gone bad. As with any other fermented food, any discolor, weird texture or unexpected smell is a warning. When in doubt, don’t eat.
For more information there are many good resources for fermented foods, the book "The Art of Fermentation" by Sandor Katz is my go to resource and his corresponding website. For more on egg pickling