Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a chef, food writer, broadcaster, author of many, many cook books and is a “real food”campaigner. He moved to River Cottage in Dorset in 1997 which spawned a prolific series of well loved tv cookery programmes, with River Cottage in the title, and which show him cooking and becoming self-reliant on locally produced food. By doing so, Hugh was also educating Britain on how to change our supermarket habits, use local food and start growing our own. His well loved cook books (over 20 of them!), unsurprisingly, also often feature River Cottage in the title. Hugh is Patron of the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association (FARMA), and of Switchback, a charity that helps young offenders find opportunities in the catering industry, which we like a lot. Many, many thanks to Hugh for donating his preserves recipe to Accumul8 and you can follow River Cottage here on Twitter.
River Cottage ‘Glutney’
Hugh says “This is a River Cottage classic: a ‘multiple choice’ chutney, designed to help you use whichever seasonal fruit and veg are plentiful. Makes about 10 jars.”.
1kg marrows (deseeded) or overgrown courgettes, cut into 1cm dice (or 1kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice)
1kg red or green tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped (or 1kg plums, stoned and chopped)
1kg cooking or eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
500g onions, peeled and diced
500g sultanas or raisins
500g soft light brown sugar
750ml white-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1-3 tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste
1 tsp salt
1 thumb-sized nugget fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
12 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
A few blades of mace
You will need jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (so that the vinegar doesn’t react with the metal). Prepare them by washing them thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then putting them upside down on a tray in a very low oven (120C/gas mark ½) to dry out and warm up.
Put the vegetables and fruit in a large, heavy-based pan with the sultanas, sugar, vinegar, water, chilli and salt. Tie the ginger, cloves, peppercorns, coriander and mace in a little square of muslin or cotton, and push into the middle of the contents of the pan.
Heat the mix gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, then bring slowly to a boil. Simmer uncovered for two to three hours, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick and burn.
The chutney is ready when it is rich, thick and reduced – it should part to reveal the base of the pan when a wooden spoon is dragged through it. If it starts to dry out before this stage, add boiling water.
Remove and discard the spice bag. Pot the chutney while still hot into the warm jars. Seal straight away, then leave the jars to cool before labelling. Let the chutney mature for at least two weeks, ideally two months, before eating.
Recipe reproduced with kind permission of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall