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Beetroot Chutney



I think one of my favourite vegetables has to be beetroot!  I just adore it.  Steamed, roasted . . . pickled, fried, you name it. Its right there up on the top of my "Love" list!  Last week we were blessed with some fresh beetroot from a friend's garden and I was in beetroot heaven.  I used some of it to make a small batch of this Beetroot Chutney!


When I moved over here to the UK in 2000 I went back to school and learned how to be a Chef at a local college.  One of the first things we were taught to do was make chutney. It is something I have never forgotten and which I have used a lot over these past 17 years.


We adore chutney in this house. Its so easy to make and goes very well with oodles of things . . .  like cheese and crackers for instance . . .  or cold meats.


The principles of making a chutney are pretty simple.  You want a bit of sweet/sugar, a bit of acid/vinegar,  a bit of heat/chilies, some spice/cinnamon, cumin, etc. and fruit/raisins, etc. . . . and the main ingredient, ie. whatever it is you are wanting to use, like today's Beetroot, but also you can do it with mango, plums, tomatoes, whatever . . .  the world is your oyster when it comes to making chutney!

Recipes for Eastern ‘chatneys’ begin to appear in cookbooks such as Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families in the 19th century. Some were fresh, almost a relish, and others were preserved and similar to this beetroot chutney I am showing you today. The older recipes were not as sweet as the ready made chutney's we have become used to in modern times.


I kind of winged this when I was making it, hearkening back to what I was taught in my chef's course and this is what I came up with.  We were both really pleased with the results.  What you see here is the bit that didn't fit into the jars. It is delicious. I could eat it simply with a spoon.


*Beetroot Chutney*
Makes 2 to 3 small jars
 
This is delicious.  You can vary the strength of the heat by upping or reducing the amount of crushed chilies. 

500g beetroot (about 1 1/4 pounds)
500g red onions (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 clove of garlic, bruised
splash of olive oil
50g demerara sugar (1/4 cup, turbinado)
1 TBS honey
1 TBS freshly grated gingeroot
5 whole cloves
5 whole peppercorns
1 broken cinnamon stick
150ml cider vinegar (2/3 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch hot chili flakes
a handful of mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, candied peel)


Peel and chop your beetroot and onion.  Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the beetroot and the onions.  Cook over low heat and sweat for about 15 minutes, taking care not to let it brown or burn, you just want it to have begun softening.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a very slow simmer.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over very low heat for about 45 minutes until thick and chutneyish. If you think it is going too dry before it is done you can add a splash of vinegar to keep it looking glossy and moist.  When it is done, spoon into 3 hot sterilized jars and seal immediately while still hot.  Store in a cool dark place.


 I have decided that beetroot is not the most photogenic crayon in the box, but what the hey.  Taste counts for a lot and this chutney is most delicious!  Bon Appetit!


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Marie Rayner
6 Comments
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6 comments:

  1. I bet it is fabulous! Love beets..onions..ginger!

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    Replies
    1. Its really good Monique! Just the right amount of sweet/tart/spice/heat! xo

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  2. I really enjoy chutney and just may have to try this one. Could I substitute the fresh ginger root with the ground spice in some way? ~Elaine

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    Replies
    1. Yes you can Elaine. Try adding 1 tsp ground ginger powder and see how it tastes. You can always add some more if you think it needs it! Hope you like it! xo

      Delete
  3. That looks really good. I have some golden beats languishing at the bottom of the fridge - maybe they need to be chutney.

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