Proper beer chutney

Food & drink
Proper beer chutney

Chop up 400g of onions into small dice and add to the pan with 250g of peeled swede and 200g of peeled carrot, both cut into 5mm chunks. Add 250g of peeled, cored and diced apples and 150g of cauliflower florets broken down into the tiniest florets possible.

Top the pan up with 2 big cloves of crushed garlic, 100g of stoned dates, finely chopped, 150g of tomato puree, 300g of demerara sugar, 50g of dark muscavado sugar, two heaped tablespoons of English mustard powder, two heaped teaspoons of ground ginger, a heaped teaspoon of ground mace and a heaped teaspoon of salt. Finally, add half a teaspoon of black pepper and wash the whole thing down with 250ml of cider vinegar.

Top the pan up with 500ml of water and gently simmer for an hour, stirring to dissolve the sugars. The mixture will thicken and darken slightly.

After an hour, add about half a 500ml bottle of beer. I used a good, traditional bitter from Saltaire Brewery, but anything with a bit of backbone will do. A stout or a porter will give a deep, dark and rich end result.

Cook for half an hour, then add the rest of the bottle of beer and cook for another half an hour. The chutney will take a deep, rich, red colour, depending on your choice of beer, and it will smell of Autumn.

When the chutney is ready, decant it into sterilised, warmed jars, seal, and leave alone for at least a month.

This recipe comes from the peerless River Cottage Preserves Handbook, by Pam Corbin.