Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Red Onion Chutney

This is a real autumnal treat. You can do it at Christmas, of course, as it goes well with all the leftovers. But there is nothing wrong with making chutney for no special occasion at all in autumn an just enjoy its strong flavour, warming up as the weather gets colder. Like most chutneys, this one is at his best after you’ve left it to rest for a couple of weeks so that all the flavours mix thoroughly.
1 kg red onions
500 g granulated sugar
4 bay leaves
500 ml cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 rosemary branches

Peel the onions and chop them as thinly as possible. If you want a more smooth chutney, you can blitz them in the food processor. Put them in a large glass or metal bowl (it should be as large and shallow as possible) and cover them with the vinegar. Add the salt, the bay leaves, the garlic cloves (from which you will have removed the skin) and the rosemary branches and leave to rest, covered, for 4 hours.
Add the sugar and mix until all of it seems to be dissolved in the mixture of vinegar and onion juice. Leave to rest for 5 hours, always covered.
Remove the garlic, rosemary and bay leaves, put into a large saucepan and put on a medium hob. Let it boil for about 15 minutes, after which take the pan away from the heat and let it cool.
Transfer the chutney into the sterilised jars: this is best eaten after a couple of weeks when it has had the time to mature and all the flavours have made their way into the onions.
You can add more sugar for a sweeter chutney, or a grated Granny Smith apple for a milder taste.

This chutney is ideal with warm meats, cheese and bread.
In fact, a great way of giving this as a gift is in a small basket with a cut of really good quality strong cheddar, a fresh baguette and some really juicy golden pears. 

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