The Daily Spud

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Spud Sunday: ‘Twas The Day After Christmas

For me, there is a reassurance and a comfort that comes with Christmas dinner traditions.

You know that, like them or loathe them, brussels sprouts will be served (and I, for the record, love them), while you will always clear a special spot on your plate for the yuletide favourite that are roasties.

My Da, though, couldn’t help but ask the question as he saw the spuds being peeled yesterday:

“Are ye making roast potatoes?” says he.

As if it would be Christmas dinner without.

But things change, too. In little ways. Every year.

This past summer, as I cooked my way through a bumper redcurrant crop, I made a chutney that seemed destined for the Christmas table. It might have usurped the cranberry sauce, though, in true Christmas spirit, there was room at the inn for both.

Redcurrant Chutney

Redcurrant chutney

This is really a kind of spiced jam, with definite savoury applications – good with the likes of a Christmas ham, but also excellent served ploughman-style with some mature cheddar, goat’s cheese or stilton. I realise that it’s not exactly the season for redcurrants, though you could certainly consider making this if you had a frozen stash of same. Otherwise, file it away for use with next summer’s bounty.

It’s based somewhat on a recipe for pickled redcurrants which I found here, though the spicing is a little different. The amounts I’ve used are small, but you can easily make double or more if you have a lot of redcurrants to use and it will, of course, keep for months.

You’ll need:
  • 400g redcurrants
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp gnd ginger
  • 0.5 tsp gnd allspice
You’ll also need:
  • Jars, wax seals and lids for approx. 250ml chutney
The Steps:
  • Start by preparing the jars. Turn your oven on to 140C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and sterilise, either by boiling in water for 10 minutes and then drying in the oven or just by keeping the jars in the oven for at least 30 minutes before using.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the redcurrants and sugar. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the redcurrants are starting to burst.
  • Add the red wine vinegar, ginger and allspice. Simmer for around another 30 minutes, the mixture should reduce by about half.
  • Pour the chutney into the hot, sterilised jars, to within 3mm of the tops. Seal with a wax disc and cover with lids which have been dipped in boiling water. Store for at least a couple of weeks in a cool, dark place before using and do set some aside for Christmas use.
The Variations:
  • Vary the spices according to your taste – you can try other warm spices like cinnamon and/or cloves here.
The Results:
  • 250ml chutney

7 Comments

  1. Beautiful story and pic Spudsy…I have yet to do anything with currants…

    My son has decided he likes this Aloo Saag dish I made for his Christmas visit…spuds rule I tell him!

  2. I bet your Da was doubly pleased this year and I wonder if a new tradition just developed for both the redcurrent chutney and the roasties. What delicious additions to the Christmas table. I hope you and yours had a wonderful time!

  3. Chef E: spuds rule for sure, but then we both knew that already :D

    OysterCulture: Da is always pleased when there are spuds on the table :) Happy Christmas and New Year to you and yours too!

  4. True Christmas spirit? If it were that then there would be room for neither, only a stable where they could squat together in perfect harmony :P

    Hope you had a good ‘un, lovely! Happy New Year!

    Jax x

  5. Daily Spud

    Friday, December 31, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Of course you’re right about the stable Jackie – though I can’t say I’d have any problem heading out to the stable myself if it were filled with good food :) Have a good ‘un yourself m’dear!

  6. A little late for Christmas greetings but never too late to admire a lovely jar of redcurrant chutney! It’s been a time of ‘new’ for my husband and I as we settle into our new home, but the changes have served to reinvigorate us. I hope that the New Year brings you all the best in little changes!

  7. Daily Spud

    Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Ah, no later with the Christmas greetings than I was, TN – in fact I was far tardier! I do hope this year will be a good one for us both – it will certainly be one of much change for you and I’m looking forward to reading all about it :)

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