South African red for chutney

vegLess wine and more vinegar has been sampled this week as I’ve been sipping samples of hot home-made chutney straight from the boiling pan.

After picking several tonnes, (well it seemed like it) of wild damsons and, its near neighbour, wild bullace from the Shropshire hedgerows I needed to find a recipe that would do justice to their flavours. After perusing many recipe books and websites, while finishing off the dregs of a bottle of South African red opened the night before, I finally came across just the recipe I was looking for.

cinnamonA combination of the usual chutney preserving ingredients of vinegar and sugar, along with onions, garlic (lots), raisins and apples (windfalls with the manky bits cut out) and the de-stoned remains of 9lb of bullace results in a fruity but somewhat bland chutney. Add spices to the mix and the chutney reaches a different stratum of flavour.

Ground chilli, ground ginger, black peppercorns, mustard seed and Juniper berry (the recipe called for allspice but the substituted peppery flavoured berry meant I could finally get to justify their purchase) all added to the simmering mass and finally spooned into jars 4 hours later resulted in a dark purple splodge that tasted very similar to HP Brown Sauce.

I know you’re meant to leave chutneys to mature for 6 weeks or so but I couldn’t resist opening a jar and adding a spoonful to the necessary post clear-up bacon sarnie. Delicious. And a couple of glasses of fruity red matched the meals hearty flavours.

Journey's End MerlotPG Wine Reviews

Vignobles Roussellet French Malbec

£4.49 Aldi

Quaffable wine that gives you change from a fiver: damson, cherry and a bit of milk choc.

Hardys Voyage Australian Shiraz Mouvedre 2015

£5.29 Co-op (down from £7.29 until September 19)

Quite a tart-tasting red with raspberry and reducrrant flavours plus milk chocolate smoothing things off.

Co-op Irresistible South African Fairtrade Sauvignon Blanc 2017

£5.99 Co-op

Light pineapple and apple flavours.

Wolf Blass Australian Yellow Label Chardonnay 2016

£6.99 Co-op (down from £8.99 until September 19)

Apricot flan flavour. Not too buttery so doesn't swamp food.

Valle Antigua Chilean Merlot 2016

£7.99 Majestic

A pleasant red with fruity cherry flavours.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk