Home-made piccalilli

Home-made piccalilli with pork pie and watercress | H is for Home

This month, I’ve been making a lot of my usual preserves – raspberry jelly, elderflower cordial and the like. One I’ve not made before is piccalilli.

Chopped vegetables, sea salt and water | H is for Home

Growing up, a jar of piccalilli was always prominent on the Christmas dinner table. It used to be a staple accompaniment to the roast ham  – and the cold meat sandwiches, cheese and pies in the following days.

Piccalilli pickling spices | H is for Home

I found numerous recipes in my collection of cook books; all much the same, with slight variations on the ratios of spices. I’ve made the recipe my own by adding mustard seeds and a couple of chillies for bite and colour.

Piccalilli veg and liquid | H is for Home

The preparation takes place over two days – the veg needs to be soaked in salted water (the brine) for 24 hours.

Ladling piccalilli into jars | H is for Home Filling jars with piccalilli | H is for Home

Once that’s done, cooking is a quick 20-minute affair before decanting into jars.

Jars of home-made piccalilli | H is for Home

The piccalilli is best left for at least 3 months before using to allow the flavours to develop. That leaves plenty of time before Christmas!

Save my recipe to Pinterest here.

Home-made piccalilli
Ingredients
  1. 1.4kg/3lbs vegetables (I used 800g cauliflower, 300g courgettes, 160g onions, 125g fine beans, 15g red chillies)
  2. 2l/3½pts water
  3. 200g/7oz salt
  4. 1l/1¾pt distilled white vinegar or malt vinegar for pickling
  5. 140g/5oz Demerara sugar
  6. 1tbsp mustard seeds
  7. 1tbsp mustard powder
  8. 2tsp turmeric
  9. 1tsp ground ginger
  10. 1tsp mixed spice
  11. 1tbsp plain flourHome-made piccalilli ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Dissolve the salt into the water
  2. Into a large mixing bowl, cut all the vegetables into even sized pieces
  3. Pour the salted water (brine) over the vegetables making sure they're all submerged. Weigh them down with a plate and cover the bowl over with a tea towel. Leave to stand for 24 hours
  4. Drain and put the vegetables into a large pan with the vinegar, sugar and spices. Simmer for 10-20 minutes depending on how soft or crunchy you like your veg
  5. Using a slotted spoon or ladle, decant the vegetables into hot, sterilised jars (I needed 5 mayonnaise-sized jars)
  6. Mix the flour into the spiced vinegar and boil for 1 minute before pouring into the jars of vegetables
  7. Seal the lids tightly on to the jars
  8. Store in a cool, dry cupboard for at least 3 months before using
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Gimme Five! Preserving tools

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selection of preserving tools

On our dog walk yesterday we picked elderflowers. Today I made our first batch of elderflower cordial of the year.

Elderflower cordial always marks the start of my preserving season. Good kit always makes the jam, jelly, pickling, or chutney-making process more successful. Here are a few preserving tools that I recommend!

  1. Swift stainless steel preserving pan: £59.96, Divertimenti
  2. KitchenCraft home made blister carded cooking thermometer: £5.99, Wayfair
  3. 24 assorted Kilner fruit jam labels: £2.50, John Lewis
  4. Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2: from £7.26, Amazon
  5. Ball® preserving starter pack: £19.99, Lakeland

Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish

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Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish ingredients

Last week we brought you a sweet, baked redcurrant recipe. This week, some more of our redcurrants are being used in a savoury preserve – spiced redcurrant & red onion relish. We’ve slightly altered a recipe we found on the BBC Good Food website.

We’ve not tried out our relish yet – we’re giving the flavours some time to steep. It’s meant to be really good teamed with a creamy goat’s cheese or charcuterie.

Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: makes 1 x 450ml jarful

Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red onions, peeled & sliced into ½cm square pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed chillies
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 200ml red wine vinegar (I used some of our home-made blackberry vinegar)
  • 140g muscovado sugar
  • 1tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g redcurrants, de-stalked
  •  

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed frying pan, cook the onions and dried crushed chillies in the olive oil over a medium heat until softened
  2. Remove from the pan and set aside
  3. Without washing out the pan, add the garlic and ginger with half the vinegar, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the cooked onion & chilli mix, sugar, Chinese five spice, salt and the remainder of the vinegar
  5. Bring back up to the boil then simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened
  6. Add the redcurrants and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until some of them have burst and the liquid has become syrupy
  7. Remove and pour into a sterilised, 450ml heatproof jar
  8. Screw the lid on tightly while still hot. Once opened, it keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
http://hisforhomeblog.com/food/spiced-redcurrant-red-onion-relish/