Monday, October 14, 2013

Branston Pickle Challenge

Why am I a glutton for punishment.  I've been on a chutney kick, making different chutneys.  As a Brit the good old standby is a jar of Branston Pickle, which is a chutney, why do they call it a pickle?  In any case I digress.  So here I am wondering can I make a facsimile to Branston Pickle.  So I look on the Internet and come up with several recipes, all with very similar ingredients.  So Saturday I go off to do my shop for all the things on my list.  Now usually when I cook, I do so with what's in the pantry, and if I don't have it I substitute, much cheaper this way.  But no I'm off to make Branston Pickle and must have all the ingredients.

I went to a local produce store and the supermarket for odd things like mustard seeds, and sweet pickled gherkins.  When I looked at what I had, it was much more than the recipe called for so decided to double it, no I have enough to quadruple it, and guess what I do, yes quadruple it.  Now I have to go to the basement for the giant enamel cooking pot.

I started at 2:00 PM chopping and at 5:00 PM when the Boy walks in the door I have just finished getting all the ingredients into the pot, fortunately it did hold them all.  I turn it on for a slow simmer.  Mr B. walks in the door just after 6:00 PM and it is simmering away.  Now this needs at least 2 hours to cook.  By then I've been standing all afternoon and am totally pooped.  So I said to Mr. B.  he will have to help me get all the jars from the basement, wash them, sterilize them in the oven, etc.

I  should have chopped the carrot and swede much smaller.

By 8.30 PM I decided the swede/rutabaga/yellow turnip and carrot are soft enough.  Mr. B.  has helped me with all the jars, thank you dear, now comes the ladling in.  I have a funnel, but it will only fit in wider mouthed jars, so made an improvised funnel from a plastic gallon milk bottle top, which worked pretty well.  Now when you quadruple the recipe you must quadruple the jars and so on and so on, to cut a long story short, 11:00 PM we are finished, ladling, pouring on the wax, and cleaning up the kitchen.

Next time I will stick to the recipe, one batch and the most two, preserves cook down so much, but four times the recipe, no.

It needs to sit for at least a month.  Now I hope I like it.

Here is the recipe:

 Branston Pickle 

2 cups carrots finely chopped
2 1/2 cups rutabaga/swede/yellow turnip cut in 1/8 inch cubes
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
4 oz dates finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cauliflower finely chopped
2 cups onions finely chopped
2 medium apples finely chopped
2 medium zucchini unpeeled finely chopped about 1 1/2 cups
15 sweet gherkins finely chopped
1/2 lb dark brown sugar
1 tea sp salt
4 table sp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tea sp cayenne pepper
2 tea sp mustard seeds
2 tea sp ground allspice
2 table sp Worcestershire Sauce
Caramel colouring or gravy browning

Combine all ingredients except caramel colouring in a saucepan.  Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rutabaga and carrots are cooked but still firm, about 1.5 to 2 hours.  Add caramel colouring until colour is dark brown (I did not have any so added chopped prunes)

Sterilize jars in oven take out fill while hot, seal with melted wax.

Yield 4 pint jars. 

My Saturday afternoon and evening.

This may be an on going quest to replicate Branston Pickle.


1 comment:

  1. What a marathon. Have done similar with other recipes and lived to regret it!


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