Today’s job: To reproduce Baxters Redcurrant and Beetroot Relish (or Chutney, I misremember which), which I became quite fond of in the 90s, briefly, before it vanished. Occasional checks of Baxters website since then have failed to turn it up.
A quick check today, however, while still coming up blank in chutneys and relishes, gave me this, in Condiments – Traditional Beetroot in Redcurrant Jelly, described as “Delicious pickled Baxters beetroot combined with ripe redcurrants …”. But surely more of a relish than a condiment, I’d have thought. And there are no “ripe redcurrants,” just juice and pectin to set it.
I have no idea if this is the original product – my gut feeling is no, it’s not – but as none of the supermarkets at which I shop actually stocks it, I might never find out.
So, I shall make my own version of it. I have ample supplies of lightly pickled beetroot, my own, in sweetened cider vinegar, and a couple of jars of Baxters own baby beets in sweet vinegar (hey, guys, a tip, yours are undercooked**), plus a jar of redcurrant jelly.
**A common failing in commercially-produced pickled beetroot (I assume it’s so they don’t disintegrate on their way through the machinery), which is why I’ve made my own for many years.
The plan, then, is to sacrifice my beetroots for the greater good, finely dice them (as Baxters did originally – and I mean finely, so that they don’t make humps in sarnies), and combine them with the redcurrant jelly. Of course, I might well have red fingers for the rest of the week, but what the hell?
I’ve not decided what else to put in. I have some rather nice balsamic cider vinegar, from Aspall (a blend, not traditional), and I think a drop of that might be good, plus a little salt. Baxters put lemon juice in the current version, something I abhor as it’s way too acidic and makes everything taste of bloody lemons!
So, folks, watch this space and, if it works out I’ll post the recipe – though you could probably figure it out from the foregoing…
And if you do give it a try, wear old clothes – beetroot stains might not come out.
Oh bugger! The alert among you will realise that, despite the title, there’s no recipe. Trouble is I can’t change it without confusing Google, but the recipe is coming, as promised. And it did – scrolls down a little.
And here it is, about an later.
A jar of Redcurrant Jelly (I could only get Sainsbury’s), 250g
An equal quantity of finely diced cooked beetroot, lightly pickled in sweet vinegar if available, or a vacuum-pack (take care, some vac-packs are dressed in a really vicious industrial vinegar – you want beets without vinegar).
A generous tablespoon of caster sugar, or to taste
If using vac-packed beetroot, add a fairly mellow balsamic vinegar to taste, or a little cider vinegar. Aspall would be my choice in either case
Mix well and spoon into sterilised jars (I use sodium metabisulphite, from home-brew stores or Amazon). I wound up with a full 370g jar, and half-filled the the jar the jelly came in, 125g-ish. Not bad for 15 minutes work.
Quantities, by the way, are not critical as long as you have roughly equal amounts of beetroot and jelly. And enough jars.
It tastes pretty good, but after it’s matured in the fridge (keep it in there, btw), it should be even better
It’s very good with cheese.
Incidentally, once you’ve broken down the firmly-set jelly to mix in the beetroot, it will remain somewhat fluid. It’s possible that if the mix were to be re-boiled it might set again. Personally, I’m OK with it as it is, but if you try re-boiling, do let me know how it works out.