With Homemade Tomato & Apple Chutney
My Delicious! cookery classes are made up chiefly of American, British and South African students, but there have been times that I've had as many as ten different nationalities in a single lesson.
Regulars all share a desire to learn the art of producing fabulous food in record time and, no matter what their nationality, they've all learned to appreciate the vast culinary opportunities to be found in chutney, and tell me this is now a regular purchase item on their shopping lists.
It is one of my favorite condiments - and not only because I grew up in South Africa where chutney is a staple. I love the way a single dollop of this fruity relish adds sweet, sour, salty and spicy notes to a myriad of different dishes.
Given its flavor-enhancing properties, it's hardly surprising that versatile chutney was once considered a luxury item in its native India where it was served as a side dish at weddings and at the dining tables of the Indian elite, and was a sought after export to England and France from as early as the 1600s.
Chutney isn't yet available in regular supermarkets - something I hope will change as more and more Delicious! students put in their requests - but is easily found at specialist food stores, delicatessens and almost all butcheries.
It's amazingly easy to make your own, however, and I believe this version is far tastier than any commercial brand.
It uses ingredients that are commonly found all year through and, as it makes a large quantity, you can either store it in the refrigerator for later use or you can decant it into smaller jars to present to wildly impressed friends.
I use this chutney in marinades for chicken and meat, in spicy salad dressings and served alongside cheeses.
I can't unfortunately include all these recipes here, but this soft, succulent brisket recipe made using this chutney makes a great way to kick-start your new chutney habit.
This was the star dish in my recent Rosh Hashanah workshop and many an excited student has reported back to tell me it was a huge hit wherever it was served.
I do hope your family and friends enjoy it with equal relish.
SWEET 'N SPICY SLOW ROAST, TENDER BEEF
1.5 - 2 kg fresh brisket (Number 3)
3 tablespoons oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (approximately 20)
1/2 cup homemade tomato & apple chutney*
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1: Fry the onions in the oil till soft and beginning to color, then add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
2: Pour sauce over meat, half-cover with foil just so that the meat itself is covered, and then cook at 160 C for 4 to 5 hours till the meat is tender.**
3: Leave in the switched off oven overnight if possible to soften even further.
HOMEMADE TOMATO & APPLE CHUTNEY
3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 green apples, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 cups light brown Demerara sugar
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1: Place all ingredients in a heavy-based pot and simmer over low heat for approximately 1 1/2 hours – stirring occasionally – till thick and jam-like.
2: Spoon into a large, clean jar and store tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to three months.
* If you prefer to substitute with readymade chutney, add 1 teaspoon ground ginger and an extra tablespoon of brown sugar to the sauce.
**Brisket may also be made in a pressure cooker.
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