Chutney is one of those things that only gets eaten at Christmas. Well, in my family anyway. It’s easy to see why – with such a long use by date, they can often get lost at the back of the pantry without even being opened.
This, however, is not one of those chutneys. I created it for BrewLab to use in their sandwiches last year and I can’t get enough of it. It tastes so good with their crusty baguettes and locally sourced goats cheese. Even if you don’t make it, you must at least try it! It’s in the sandwiches at BrewLab untill the end of this week, luckily for you.
This recipe makes about 7lbs of chutney, but feel free to scale down accordingly. There’s some info about jar sterilisation below.
First, you gotta scrub ’em. Make sure you get all of the dirt off as they become quite moist when roasted. Then dry them with kitchen roll or a dark coloured tea towel and wrap them tightly in foil, ready for a roastin’.
Wash and peel your pears. Grate them directly into the large, heavy bottom pan you intend to use, and immediately add the white wine vinegar to stop them going brown. Try and find the ripest pears you can – it helps the flavour to come out more when cooking. Add your grated ginger, sugar, salt and chopped onions too, and put them on for a gentle simmer.
After about an hour and a half, remove your beetroots from the oven and allow them to cool down before removing the tin foil. They should be ok after about 20 minutes. Next, you want to peel the outer skin off the beetroots. It should come away pretty easily, but if not, gently scrape the surface with a butter knife. I seriously advise you wear plastic gloves for this, or risk looking like you’ve been working on a beetroot crime scene! Grate your beetroot directly into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon.
Next, you want to add your coriander and cumin seeds to the pan. Roughly chop a handful of rosemary and add that too, then add your whole rosemary sticks – remember to count how many you add so that you can remove them when you’re jarring the chutney later.
Stir everything up and leave it to boil. While the ingredients are getting to know each other a little better, you can sterilise your jars. Put them into a clean sink and add some washing up liquid. Pour in a kettle full of boiling water and once its cooled down a little, wash the jars and lids inside and out, paying particular attention to the seal area. Rinse off , making sure you don’t touch any parts of the inside of the jar or lid, place on a baking tray and into a hot oven to dry. It is essential that you don’t touch any parts inside the lid or jar once they come out of the oven.
Once your chutney is all done cooking, use a jam funnel to get it into your jars without touching the sides. It’s also worth getting a large jam or chutney ladle for this to save yourself time. This recipe makes about 7lbs of chutney.
You will need:
2lb red onion
200g fresh ginger
3 cups (750ml) white wine vinegar
4 1/2 cups of sugar
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp corriander seeds
4-5 whole sprigs of rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Set the oven to 180 degrees. Wash your beetroot and pat dry. If they have stalks, cut to about 2cm. Wrap them in foil and bake for an hour and a half.
Peel and coarsely grate the pears and ginger, then slice the onions finely. Add them to the pan and add the white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 35 minutes. Peel and coarsely grate the beetroot and add it to the pan when ready, along with the seeds and rosemary. Cook for a further 20 minutes. Spoon into clean, sterilised jars (see above for directions). Keeps for 4 months, unopened.