The recipes catching my eye lately have been sauces, chutneys, reductions and preserves. These are the extra bits I never get round to. I can make a roux, of course, and I’ve whizzed up a pesto or two, but when it comes to sauces and condiments, I’m usually tempted way more by a luxury jar from a fancy deli (or even Tesco extra-special!) than by the idea of attempting a recipe with a risk of splitting, that requires me to chop 800 onions or where I have to wait a month for the flavours to ‘mature’. And I’m rather partial to a bottle of squeezy Hellman’s.
So perhaps it’s setting up home that has made me suddenly crave cupboards full of hand-labelled jars and fancy self-made sauces with my dinner. As the crunchy wholesomeness of autumn descended last week, I gave in to the urge and made this chutney.
The chutney recipe I used was this one, nabbed from SuperJam/The Guardian, but with a few of my own adjustments. Here’s my version, which almost fills a 500g Dolmio jar (yes, I confess to a previous pasta bake!).
4 red onions
2 red bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded
25ml olive oil
2 bay leaves
50g soft brown muscovado sugar
50g dark brown muscovado sugar
75ml balsamic vinegar
75ml red wine vinegar
– Cut onions into short, thin slices, dice chillies, put both in a big pan with the oil and mix to coat. Add bay leaves. Cook gently over low heat for 20 mins.
– When onions are soft and sticky, add sugar and both vinegars, simmer for about 30 mins until chutney is thick and dark. It tastes a bit spicy and hits you in the face when you taste it! Get rid of the bay leaves.
– Pour chutney into sterilised jar and leave to cool without the lid. Mine is now sitting in the fridge to mature for a ‘month’ (doubt it will last this long as I keep snacking on it)