Scrub and trim the beets. Set a large pot over high heat. Add the beets and enough water to cover with 1 inch of water. Boil for 30-35 minute, until the beets are fork tender. Remove the beets to cool, and reserve the beet water.
In a separate pot, place 24 eggs in enough cold water to cover them by one inch. Once the water starts to boil set a timer for 12 minutes. After the timer goes off, set the pot in the sink and run cold water into the pot until the eggs are cold. (Or add enough ice to the pot to cool them down.) Then peel the eggs.
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, use your fingers to peel off the skins. Cut the beets into quarters, then slice into ½ inch pieces.
Pour 1 cup of warm beet water into a large measuring pitcher. Add in the sugar and salt and stir until fully dissolved. Then mix in the apple cider vinegar.
Slice the onion, jalapeno, and roughly chop the dill.
Add 6 peeled hard boiled eggs to each pint jar. Layer in chunks of beet, onion, and sliced jalapeno. Then to each jar add a pinch of chopped dill, ¼ teaspoon whole mustard seeds, and 2 whole cloves or 1 star anise.
Pour the beet pickling liquid into each jar, filling them close to the top.
Screw on the lids, and refrigerate for at least 10 days, but 2 weeks is better. Keep the eggs in the fridge for up to 4 months.
Quickie Method: If you are in a hurry to get the jars in the refrigerator, you can skip the beet-boiling and use a large jar of pickled beets (and juices) from the grocery store. Be sure to warm the beet juices so the sugar dissolves, then reduce the salt to 2 teaspoons. You can also buy pre-boiled eggs or boil and chill the eggs several days in advance!Struggle with Hard-Boiled Eggs? If you find that every time you hard boil eggs they are hard to peel, you can gently prick a needle hole in the wide end of each egg. Then add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the boiling water. This, along with cooling them well, makes the eggs much easier to peel.