How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the beets in a large baking dish. Add 1 cup of water and a generous pinch of salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Uncover and let cool. Peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch wedges. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of water with the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, allspice, peppercorns, cloves and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat until reduced to 3 cups, about 12 minutes. Pour the liquid over the beets and let cool; refrigerate overnight. Drain the following day, before serving.