Unbeetable Chutney

Beetroot. It turns risotto pink, it’s wonderful stuff. But… every now and then a couple lurk at the back of the fridge. I don’t get in a pickle over it, oh no. I make this chutney. It’s gorgeous with cheese or with roast beef.

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  • 500g beetroot
  • 500g red onions
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Makes 2-3 (300g) jars

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1. Roast the beetroot and onions (whole, unpeeled) at 200°C/Gas 6, till completely soft. Onions may cook first, so after 30 mins, keep checking them.
2. When ready, pop the onions out of their skins. Finely chop.
3. Peel the beetroot (quarter and carve the skin off). Finely dice.
4. Tip the veg into a large pan with all the other ingredients.
5. Bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 45 mins till soft and chutney-ish. Stir occasionally. Add a few extra drops of vinegar towards the end if it looks dry - not glossy and lush.
6. Spoon into sterilised jars with vinegarproof lids (see below).
7. Sterilising your jars: By all means use old jam or chutney jars. Clean them (plus lids) in really hot soapy water. Or, whack in the dishwasher on the hottest setting. Dry on a clean tea towel or kitchen paper. When your chutney’s nearly ready, put the jars and lids in a cold oven. Heat to 150°C/Gas 2 for 15 mins. Take the jars hot from the oven (use gloves!). Spoon in the just-cooked chutney. Seal immediately.
8. Put a lid on it: Because vinegar causes some lids to rust, you need lids with metal that doesn’t come in contact with the chutney. Kilner jars are ideal, but most jam jar lids have plastic-like covering on the inside.
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Delicious end product - excellent with cheese and meats as promised - but do not attempt this recipe if you don't have a blender/chopper. Attempting to finely dice slimy and uncooperative roasted onions WILL ruin your day!