Monday, 6 September 2010

Nome makes Chutney

My Nanna used to make the most incredible beetroot chutney. Whenever we went to her house I always hoped it would be on the lunch table, and ever since those days I've tried every beetroot chutney I've seen, looking for one as good. I've always been disappointed. So when I started growing my own vegetables, I promised myself that one day I'd have a go at making my own beetroot chutney, and this year we've finally produced enough beetroots to give it a go!

I found a recipe by Rick Stein (in fact it's been pinned to my noticeboard for a couple of years now) and edited it a little (I don't like raisins!). Unlike my courgette pickle, I decided to bottle it up properly this time so it would keep for a good long time, so I headed out to a specialist kitchen shop to get some jars. There are so many different types, I didn't know where to start! I ended up buying a selection, so I could find out which ones I preferred for next time! In the end, I reused a couple of old jars I found at home as well.

Beetroot Chutney

  • Peel and coarsely shred 900g beetroot, 450g onions and 675g apples. (The original recipe said cooking apples but I used ordinary eating apples.) I used the julienne blade on my mandolin.
  • Place into a heavy-based pan with 2 tbsps ground ginger, 1 tbsp mustard powder, 1 or 2 tsps chilli powder, 900g granulated sugar, 40g salt, 1.2 litres malt vinegar and the juice of a lemon.
  • Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer gently, UNCOVERED, for about two hours, until it's well reduced and quite thick. (I missed the 'uncovered' part at first, and then had to simmer for much longer to reduce it!)
  • Meanwhile, sterilise jars by washing well then placing them in a cold oven, heating it to 140C, then turning the heat off. Boil the lids/rubber rings in a pan of water for a few minutes.
  • Spoon the warm chutney into the warm jars, seal, and label.
Having heard how messy dealing with raw beetroot can be, I carefully made sure I had everything I needed to hand, wore black, rolled up my sleeves and prepared it in the sink. But I really don't know what all the fuss is about! My plastic mandolin came through the experience unstained, as did my worksurfaces, my hands and everything else.

The verdict? Well, I don't know if it's quite as good as Nanna's, but oh it's good. I've been eating loads of it in ham sandwiches. A teeny bit too sweet perhaps, but that probably serves me right for using the wrong kind of apples. I will certainly be making it again next year. In fact, there are still a few beetroots in the ground to use this year too...


Green Lane Allotments said...

Sounds good - we grow white and yellow beetroot too so we could have multi-coloured chutney

Amy said...

That sounds really good, I never know what to do with beetroot so I think I'll give your recipe a try.

Monica said...

Wow, that's a lotta chutney! Sounds delicious. I just made cold beet soup with my surplus of organic box beets (my personal beet-related family favourite) - I should totally jar the stuff. I do love a good chutney though - just one small issue - I don't eat meat and I eat very little cheese, and it's kind of hard to find other stuff that chutney is good with. Any suggestions?

Roger Distill said...

I find that any good chutney is excellent on hot vegetables, regardless of what it is that they accompany. Nome's beetroot recipe would fit the bill perfectly!

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