- Food & Drink
A tsunami of cheese and meat is just 22 days away. Less if you’ve already started going to Christmas parties and eating bits of goats’ cheese on toast, mini Yorkshire puds stuffed with beef and all the other tiny party tidbits that conspire to make your trousers so much tighter by New Year’s Eve.
To help us eat all this meat and cheese, we will need chutney. Something sharp, sweet and tangy that will make every gluttonous mouthful more bearable. This beetroot chutney is ready to eat within a couple of days, but leave it until the Christmas Day cheeseboard or Boxing Day ham and it’ll do you proud. The strong earthy flavours are good with eye-wateringly strong cheeses or thickly dolloped into turkey sandwiches to make them taste of something.
I used ready-cooked, vacuum-packed beetroot to make this chutney; not the mouth-puckering purple sludge packed in vinegar. If you want to use fresh beetroot, the easiest way to cook it is in the microwave. Scrub it and chop off any leaves at the stem, but don’t pierce the skin and leave the stem on. Place in a microwaveproof bowl with 2 tbsp water, cover and microwave for about 8–10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. The beetroot are done when you can easily scrape off the skin.
Beetroot and apple chutney
Makes approximately 800g
500g cooked, peeled beetroot, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
300g Bramley apples, peeled and roughly chopped
200ml cider vinegar
20g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp salt
100g soft light brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 First, sterilise your jars.
2 Place the beetroot, onion, apples and vinegar in a non-aluminium pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the apples are pulpy.
3 Add the ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice and 100ml water and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes before spooning the warm chutney into the sterilised jars and sealing.
4 The chutney should keep for a year in a cool, dark cupboard. Once you’ve opened it, keep it in the fridge.