I discovered beetroot and horseraddish chutney last year when I stumbled upon a fantastic farm shop just outside Axminster. I was actually doing a River Cottage, ‘pig in a day’ course, but that’s another story!
The farm shop was in the village where we were staying and had a huge selection of locally made pickles and chutneys including this unusual combination which I can assure you is absolutely delicious!
My advice is to make it by the bucket full as once tasted you’ll be hooked and it isn’t all that readily available commercially. Make it now and it will be perfect for Christmas!
Here’s What you will need:
750g (1lb 10oz) raw beetroot, trimmed, peeled and finely diced
1 onion, chopped
1 dessert apple, cored and chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
200g (7oz) golden granulated sugar
300ml (½ pint) white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
Here’s What to do:
Put all the ingredients into a large pan or preserving pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring often, until all the sugar has dissolved.
Cook gently for a further 1-1½ hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney sticking to the pan.
After the shortest cooking time, start checking if the chutney is ready by dragging a channel through the mixture so that the bottom of the pan is visible. If the channel fills immediately with liquid, the chutney is not ready. Cook for a further 15 minutes and check again. The chutney is ready when the channel does not fill and the mixture is very thick.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand briefly.
Carefully pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Allow the chutney to cool completely before storing in a cool, dark cupboard.
Store for at least two months before eating.
NB: If you don’t grow your own beetroot you shouldn’t have much trouble finding it in the shops.
Horseraddish is a different matter. You may have to find a specialist grocer, but if you know what to look for, you should be able to pick some up from the roadside!
It grows wild in many parts of the country and is at its best during the autumn and winter. It can be spotted by its long, tongue like leaves. You can eat the leaves, but for chutney it’s the root you are after. Peel away the brown, scaly skin and grate the white flesh. This has a real kick and is very different from the stuff you buy in jars.