Sunday, 28 June 2015

Preserves Series - Posh Pickles, buy or make your own.

When I was asked by Posh Pickles to give my opinions on one of their products I jumped at the chance.  I hate waste, therefore I love preserves, being a vegetarian I use pickles rather a lot too to add flavour to cheese based meals, salads and sandwiches.  

I had a fabbie idea, review the relish and then for the more adventurous of you, a recipe to recreate a variation of it. 

Of the pickles I think my all time favourite is caramalised onion chutney.  I often make it to give as gifts and will often buy a sneaky luxury jar too as a treat.  

I was sent a sample of the claret, onion and balsamic relish by Posh Pickles which I had in a cheese and chutney sandwich (on homemade bread of course, click HERE for my bread blog).

It's has a very subtle, delicate flavour and perhaps I should have tried it in a more delicate meal.  

In retrospect I would have used it within a onion and goats cheese tart as the delicate flavours would have been perfect for this kind of meal.  Alternatively it would be perfect for cheese and crackers.  

As you are aware I'm stretching my pennies as far as possible but this Posh Pickles relish is an ideal birthday or Christmas present.   I'd buy some sellophane bags and pop it in with a cheese truckle and some posh crackers.  A fancy bow and that's a lovely gift for about £5. 

The delivery charge can add a bit to this so I asked Posh Pickles and they gave me the following charges.  I'd say it's really worth buying a few at a time or gang up with some friends to do a bulk order to save on postage.  

1-2 Jars (1-2kg) = £2.50 delivery charge
3-7 Jars (2-4 kg) = £3.70 delivery charge
8-14 Jars (5-10 kg) = 5.50 delivery charge
15+ Jars (10 kg + ) = 7.20 delivery charge

As a bonus if you post "FREEOCC" on Posh Pickles Facebook page with an order over 5 jars, we'll send an 8oz jar of Claret, Red Onion and Balsamic Relish to them for free with their order! You can't moan at that bonus! 

Okay so now for the recipe!  

Like all my cooking I use some artistic licence on the ingredients but with chutneys I have the same basic ingredients but change to suit tastes

2kg onions 
- red, white or shallots whatever you have.
- browned in oil or butter until caramalised 

Add into the onions vinegar and sugar.  

750g of vinegar 
- malt, red wine or balsamic depending on how delicate you want it.  For more delicate options I mix red wine and balsamic in equal quantities.  
750g of sugar
-  soft brown, dark brown, muscavado once again they give different tastes. 

Then add in your seasonings and extras

Salt and pepper
Additional Flavourings - spices, carroway seeds, bay leaves, mustard seeds, red wine, port, chilli, Apple.  Take your pick! 

You can see that I went for a dark sugar and a mixture of malt and balsamic vinegar.  I added a good slosh (about 50ml ish) of port and a couple of generous teaspoons of mixed spice.  

I put it on a rolling boil whilst I sterilise the jars which I do by putting them in my ancient dishwasher on its hottest setting. Alternatively a good wash and put in a warm oven to sterilise.  Don't forget the lids too!

It takes about an hour or so of cooking, this doesn't thicken in the jar as jam would so it's ready to bottle when it's the thickness you like to eat it.  

This recipe is enough for 5-6 good size jars and total cost to make is £3 to £6 depending upon the ingredients you use presuming you dont use luxury options! 

Once made leave for a few of months, more if you can be patient to get the best flavour. 

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