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Wash and trim the beetroot, rub each with 1 tbsp vegetable oil, then wrap individually in foil. Roast on a tray at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 1 hr or until tender. Cool, peel, then cut into wedges.
To make the pickling vinegar, put the whole spices in a medium saucepan. Toast over a low heat until they begin to smell aromatic. Add the dried chilli flakes last, as these can easily catch. Add the bay, pour in all of the vinegar and sugar, let it dissolve, and bring to a simmer.
Pack the beets into sterilised jars (see tip below), add 1 tsp coarse crystal sea salt to each, then pour over the hot vinegar and seal. Ready to eat in 2 weeks, or longer, if you like.
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