Sunday, 11 November 2012

Christmas Elving #1: Hearty Ale Chutney

In my bid to have an entirely handmade Christmas this year, I've started cooking up a stash of chutney to give away as presents. I'm trying out some new recipes, and also a few tried-and-tested favourites.

This 'Hearty Ale Chutney' is from the River Cottage Handbook No. 2: Preserves. Good old Hugh F-W and Pam Corbin can always be relied upon for a good chutney.

I've only made this ale chutney once before - but I kicked myself last time for not making more as it's so good and disappears so quickly. Sweet from the root veg, malty from the ale and with a tang from the cider vinegar. Perfect with some face-scrunchingly strong cheddar in a doorstep sandwich.

The preparation for this chutney is rather labour intensive as all the fruit and vegetables need to be chopped into small pieces. However, once it's bubbling away on the hob, it can pretty much be left to its own devices much of the time, with the odd stir here and there.

Onions, swede, carrots, cauliflower, apples, garlic and dates are mixed with tomato puree, demerara and dark muscovado sugar, vinegar, spices and a bottle of traditional ale. I went for a bottle of Tanglefoot (I'm always swayed by the name and label of the ale...advertiser's dream!).

Everything bar the ale is cooked down in water for about an hour until the vegetables are tender and the juices have reduced and thickened.

The ale is then added and the mixture turns a deep reddish-brown and it smells delicious.

It's cooked for about another hour and can then be spooned into warm, sterilised jars. It needs to mature for a few weeks before opening - so just in time for Christmas!

 Now I just need to get labelling the jars...

1 comment:

  1. we love Badger Ale. Chutney looks tasty too. B


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