Down on the plot, we’ve been busy battling an unwinnable war with the powdery mildew that has blighted our pumpkin patch. We’ve not really been paying attention to the Pablo beetroots that we shoved behind our somewhat out-of-control Jerusalem artichoke jungle, and after weeks of favourable weather, our purple Pablo pals have ballooned to the size of knobbly cricket balls. We usually coax our beets into making a magenta-hued wine, but this year we decided instead to pummel them into chutney. Not just any old chutney, mind…. our effort is fine and fiery thanks to a supporting cast of scotch bonnet and cheyenne chillies, freshly plucked from the bowels of our mini poly tunnel.
Your sink will look like a crime scene, your family will hate the smell, but your cheese sarnies will never have tasted so good. Here’s how to make it…
Ingredients (this will make approx 4 jars)
1 kg beetroot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 fat chillis
500ml red wine vinegar. Or cider vinegar/malt vinegar if you fancy.
2 cooking apples
500g golden caster sugar
2 tbs mustard seed
- Lob the ingredients into a large cooking pot, put on the lid and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 45 minutes, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes to help thicken your chutney.
- Prepare your jam jars by sterilising them. You can do this by either (a) bunging them in a dishwasher at the highest temperature setting. (b) Wash the jars in soapy water, then place them in an over at 140 ºC/210 ºF/Gas Mark 1 for 15-20 minutes. Or (c) use a sterilising solution such as VWP.
- Spoon your champion chutney into the jars and if you can resist temptation, allow to mature in a cool cupboard for a month.
For those wanting a less spicy, ginger-heavy chutney*, try Nick’s effort, here.
* And in many ways, an inferior chutney.