Total Time
Prep 1 hr
Cook 504 hrs

Branston Pickle is a UK favourite that is served in pubs as part of a Ploughman's Lunch. Although this tangy vegetable pickle has lots of ingredients, it is worth the effort. Tastes great with cheeses.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cube the carrots and swede, and finely chop the garlic, dates, cauliflower, onions, apples, zucchini and gherkins.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the colouring in a large saucepan and bring to the boil; reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer until the swede is cooked through but still firm (about 1½ to 2 hours).
  4. Then add the liquid colouring until the colour is dark brown.
  5. Spoon into warm sterilized jars and seal.
  6. Leave for at least 3 weeks to let the flavours mature.
Most Helpful

I had a jar of Branston's in the cupboard so I decided to try this recipe. It is a long preparation process but worth every minute for the results. I did change this around a bit by cutting back on the sugar; eliminating the zucchini, mustard seeds and allspice and increased the juice of 1 lemon, and used one small bottle of kitchen bouquet to get it the same color as the jar I had. The jar ingredients includes tomato, so I used approximately 1/2 c. ketchup. It seemed to take about 3 hr. of simmering for the rutabaga to soften to the tooth. The end result was an amazing clone of the original. If you love pickle, you'll love this! Thanks for posting this recipe.

Gingerbee January 02, 2003

I had to modify this according to means so I left out the sweet gherkins, ground allspice and browning sauce and used a combination of balsamic and fruit vinegar instead of malt. I added a very generous helping of tomato ketchup and also some cornflour for a bit of thickness. It came out absolutely perfectly. Couldn't have asked for better.

Justin the organic waste dustbin March 18, 2009

I added the ketchup as the suggestion but I also used more vinegar and sugar, some balsamic but otherwise ACV, and I used clear jel at the end of the cook (about 5 Ts, mixed with a bit of sugar and vinegar then bring to a gentle boil while stirring) and then hot water processed, this is a very very good likeness now the texture issue is addressed by clear jel. Mine took only an hour and a half to cook.

skippyak June 17, 2007