Less wine and more vinegar has been sampled this week as I’ve been sipping samples of hot home-made chutney straight from the boiling pan. After picking several tonnes, (well it seemed like it) of wild damsons and, its near neighbour, wild bullace from the Shropshire hedgerows I needed to find a recipe that would do justice to their flavours. After perusing many recipe books and websites, while finishing off the dregs of a bottle of South African red opened the night before, I finally came across just the recipe I was looking for.
A combination of the usual chutney preserving ingredients of vinegar and sugar, along with onions, garlic (lots), raisins and apples (windfalls with the manky bits cut out) and the de-stoned remains of 9lb of bullace results in a fruity but somewhat bland chutney. Add spices to the mix and the chutney reaches a different stratum of flavour.
Ground chilli, ground ginger, black peppercorns, mustard seed and Juniper berry (the recipe called for allspice but the substituted peppery flavoured berry meant I could finally get to justify their purchase) all added to the simmering mass and finally spooned into jars 4 hours later resulted in a dark purple splodge that tasted very similar to HP Brown Sauce.
I know you’re meant to leave chutneys to mature for 6 weeks or so but I couldn’t resist opening a jar and adding a spoonful to the necessary post clear-up bacon sarnie. Delicious. And a couple of glasses of fruity red matched the meals hearty flavours.
PG Wine Reviews
Castillo Albai Spanish Crianza Rioja 2012
Being made from 100% Tempranillo grape makes this Rioja taste neither too light nor too heavy – so expect cherry and blackberry with milk choc and nutmeg for added creaminess.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference French Languedoc Red 2014
Versatile red blend that tastes of cocoa and plums.
Angove Australian Long Row Merlot 2013
A nice fruity mix of flavours – cherry, raspberry and plum. Creamy.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference South African Fairtrade Pinotage 2014
Despite the Bovril aroma this Pinotage tastes lighter than your nose would have you believe with a mix of cherry, mocha and spicy aftertaste.
Château Joucanin 2012, French Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Blackcurrant, damson and cocoa dryness make this a nice red.
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© Paula Goddard 2015 www.paulagoddard.com