Let me start by saying that, despite the title, this is one of the nicest chutneys I have made so far. It’s zesty and tangy, has a lovely rich colour and packs a real punch with a mature cheddar.
I’m never making it again.
You see every time I make this something goes horribly wrong. Not with the chutney, it’s one of the few things I will remake to the exact recipe, just with the surrounding circumstances.
For example ; The first time I made this delicious chutney I rather overdid the quantity and even after giving some jars away to my friends/guinea pigs there were still quite a few leftover. So I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to pack up a few jars (along with some excess jam) and take them as gifts on our imminent visit to the UK. What could possibly go wrong?
As we were traveling by Eurostar suitcase weight was not an issue so I tightly packed in the many jars amongst my belongings and off we trundled. All went well until we reached the Victoria line underground interchange.
At rush hour.
On a Friday.
By this time I had a very tired small person on one hand, her luggage, my handbag, a VERY heavy suitcase and a dead arm. A very kind gentleman offered to take my suitcase onto the tube and found a tiny corner amid the sea of humanity to wedge it in.
With his foot.
Of course his foot connected with one of the jars. The one I squeezed in at the last minute because there was a tiny space left. The one that wasn’t wrapped in a plastic bag.
By the time we left the tube there was a rather pungent aroma emanating from my case and a small orangey brown puddle on the train floor. We fought our way through Waterloo station leaving a sticky trail behind us and located the train heading out to Richmond. By the end of the half hour journey we, rather unsurprisingly, had the carriage to ourselves.
At my friends flat it was time to assess the damage. Rather wisely I elected to leave the case in the downstairs hall while I picked out the broken glass and sticky pickle from my belongings. Even the clothes that hadn’t come into direct contact with the chutney needed washing due to the smell. When we left a few days later I’m embarrassed to say the hall still carried a heady lingering aroma.
(Almost two years later there is still a vague whiff every time the suitcase gets unzipped – which is not very often as it has been relegated to shed and used for ‘storage’).
Rather ironically when we got back one of my friends here was desperately disappointed when I told her there was none left as her husband had finished the whole jar in the 10 days we had been gone. She has been dropping hints ever since that he would really like some more.
Last week I found myself with a surplus of carrots so thought I’d be kind and make a jar or two for Mr.W.
So what went wrong this time? (I hear you ask) Read on to find out why this is the last time.
300g brown Sugar
1 Orange (zest and juice)
1 Lemon (zest and juice)
3tsp mixed Peppercorns
2tsp wholegrain Mustard
2tsp clear Honey
1tsp mixed Spice
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
500ml Red wine vinegar
250ml White vinegar
250ml Tarragon vinegar (if you cant get tarragon vinegar then just use 500ml of white vinegar and add 1/2 tsp of tarragon)
Now turn down the heat until you get a gentle simmer and leave it bubbling away for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When the liquid has reduced by around a 1/3 and is sticky on your spoon it’s time to take it off the heat and ladle into sterilised jars .
Top Tip – If you are using jars with metal lids make sure you cover the pickle with a wax disc or some greaseproof paper as the acid in the vinegar can react with the metal and cause it to rust.
This amount of ingredients should give you a enough to fill 4 regular jars or two large ones.
Unless of course you are an idiot.
Don’t worry Mr. W – the only remaining jar has your name on it!