I am a great fan of making chutneys, and one of the most popular ones I make is this beetroot chutney.
Homemade Beetroot Chutney
I am a great fan of making chutneys, and one of the most popular ones I make is from beetroot. I think it is particularly appealing because the resulting chutney has such a beautiful, vibrant colour, plus the consistency of the chutney itself is pleasantly "meaty." Beetroot chutney works well with either cheeses or cold meats; in fact, some people I have spoken to say they are happy to tuck into it by the spoonful, straight from the jar.
Over time, I have tried a number of different recipes for beetroot chutney, and this recipe is the result of my adapting all of those recipes into the one I consider the best of all. Certainly, it seems that every year my family pesters me to make more of it, so it must be good. I think this chutney works particularly well at Christmas or Thanksgiving, probably because there is usually so much cold turkey left over, for which beetroot chutney makes a great accompaniment.
Remember that beetroot chutney (like all chutneys) will last for years once sealed in the sterilised jars. I have known jars of chutney that were over 10 years old that were still perfect when opened. Just remember to store them in a cool, dark place, like a cellar or concrete outbuilding in a shady location.
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4 kilograms (9 pounds)
- 6 beetroot, tennis ball sized
- 6 onions, medium sized
- 450 grams (1 pound) raisins
- 680 grams (1.5 pounds) cooking apples
- 450 grams (1 pound) Demarera or white sugar
- 1.1 litres (2 UK pints) distilled (clear) or white vinegar
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 lemons, juiced
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- A stainless steel or heavy-based saucepan (not aluminum)
- A stainless steel jam funnel (optional, but less messy)
- Approximately 9 x 450-gram or 1-pound preserving jars
- A pair of metal tongs
- A stainless steel ladle
- This recipe is sufficient to make approximately 4 kilograms or 9 pounds of beetroot chutney, so make sure you have sufficient jars, lids (plus a stainless steel jam funnel) to hold this volume before you start.
- Cut down the foliage on the beetroot to about 5 cm or 2.5 inches. Wash the beetroot and then add to boiling water in a large saucepan. Boil for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the beetroot shows it is tender through to the centre. Drain and soak briefly in cold water until cool enough to handle. Twist off the foliage and the tap roots, then rub off off the skins with your fingers. Chop into pieces about 0.5 cm in diameter and place in a large saucepan, (make sure the pan is not aluminium or the vinegar will cause the flavour of the chutney to be tainted).
- Peel, core and chop apples into similar sizes and add to main pan.
- Peel and chop onions into similar sizes and add to pan.
- Chop garlic cloves finely or crush and add to pan.
- Add all the other ingredients to the pan.
- Bring the contents to the boil and then simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours (stirring every 10 minutes or so to avoid the chutney sticking to base of the pan) until there is little visible liquid left, and the mixture is suitably chunky and glossy looking.
- Sterilise your jars and lids etc by washing in hot soapy water, rinsing, and then (for the jars and jam funnel) place on a baking sheet in an oven at 140 degrees Celsius for no less than 15 mins. For the lids, tongs and metal ladle, place in a saucepan of boiling water until you are ready to use them.
- Use the tongs to place the jam funnel on to the top of an empty jar. Now use the ladle to fill the jar to approximately half a centimetre from the rim, (gently pushing the hot chutney into the hot jar). Repeat until all the jars are full or until the chutney runs out.
- Use the tongs to carefully place lids on the top of each jar, then using a cloth to hold the jars, screw on the lids tightly. Allow the jars to cool and then tighten the lids further.
- Write labels out for jars along with the date, then stick the labels onto the jars.
- Store in a cool, dark place such as a cellar or a brick built outhouse in the shade, (on this basis the chutney will store for years, often 10 years or more.)
- Do not be tempted to eat this until it has had time to mature, which will be approximately 6 weeks to 3 months.
- Enjoy with cheese, cold meats, or simply by the spoonful straight from the jar.
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© 2014 Cindy Lawson