Sunday, 8 January 2012

Tomato, Red Onion and Chilli Chutney.

Happy New Year!

This is a belated post. A very belated one, considering it is Christmas related but wanted to share it after seeing the success of the recipe.

Nearly all my Christmas presents this year had a homemade theme, largely because come the end of the year I was nearly flat broke and also because I had a theory that my family (specifically my parents), would appreciate something I had made with my own hands more than something I could buy. I mentioned my plan to my housemates and they jumped on the bandwagon meaning that on a cold afternoon in the run up to Christmas we had an almighty chutney making venture.

Needless to say it was rather epic, considering we needed to peel and chop 3kgs of tomatoes and then 1.5kgs of red onions. Regretfully I took on the onions. Yes, there were LOTS of tears - but don’t worry I’ve scaled down the recipe here.

The most amusing part of this process had to be acquiring the jars to store the chutney in. It had to be in the most economical way possible. Of course.

Our solution? Off we went to ASDA and bought the cheapest thing they had on sale that was in an appropriately sized jar.

This was the result:

That, is 8 jars worth of ASDA, own brand, 22p, Lemon curd.

Gross huh?

But it did thankfully, provide us with this (after they had been sterilized via the dishwasher):

Anyway, to get back to the chutney. This really is an exercise of taste, I cannot reiterate HOW much one has to taste, season and adjust throughout the cooking process to make it sing.

But I promise you; the results are worth it, the jar I gave to my mum for Christmas Day had been devoured by the end of Boxing Day. No exaggeration.

Makes 2-3 jars and was created from an amalgamation of recipes including one from the BBC Good Food website.

500g red onions, peeled and sliced
1kg tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 hot chilli, finely, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
½ tsp paprika
150g brown sugar
150ml red wine vinegar
lots of salt and freshly ground pepper

In a little oil, sweat the onions until soft then add the garlic, chilli and bay leaf, sweat until fragrant and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer for 1 hour and at this point taste it. Is it too sweet? If so add more vinegar. Not sweet enough? Add more sugar, this kind of thing will largely depend on nature of the tomatoes used.

Season the hell out of it until your happy with the way it tastes then increase the heat and gently boil until it gets thick and jammy.

Place in sterilized jars and leave to cool before covering, will keep in the fridge for 6 weeks or so.

NOTE: Its banging with some strong chedder cheese. 

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