One of the things I have on my list when we go home to England is getting a ploughman’s lunch at the Red Lion in Swanage. It’s a pub that is still an English pub with the old beams, back garden, and amazing ciders on tap. And they are willing to do their best at making a black velvet for me. They also do a fabulous ploughman’s with ale chutney. It’s one of my favourites.
As we’re getting into the season to make chutneys I thought I’d give it a go. There really isn’t a lot of choice for ale chutney recipes but I figured I could make up my own. It didn’t come out like the Red Lion’s but it came out really well with a bit more heat to mine.
Chop about 350 grams of onion and 300 grams of apples. This equals about 3 apples.
Next chop 3 cloves of garlic, 60 g of dates, and 60 g of dried apricots. In a large pot add the chopped ingredients with a 1/3-1/2 cup of malt vinegar and bring to a simmer. As it begins to simmer add 1 heaped tbsp of mustard powder, 3 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1-2 tsp of sea salt, and pepper to taste. Add 350-400g of demerara sugar or brown sugar and stir well.
As it simmers add the zest of one lemon as well as the juice. For me I found it to be a bit sweet so I added 2 tsp of red pepper flakes to balance the sweetness.
Simmer until the apples have broken down and the chutney starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and add 12 oz of ale or stout. I used our oatmeal stout. Bring it back up to a simmer to thicken. I found it wouldn’t thicken as much as I wanted so I added pectin rather than sugar which would make it sweeter. The next time I make it I’ll back off a bit on the sugar and add more pectin.
The great things about chutneys is you make it your own. Adjust as needed to your tastes. Perfect! Now I just need to make a ploughman’s. :)
PS, there must have been enough people disgruntled with the new wordpress site when writing posts as they are now giving people a choice to revert. Excellent! :)