Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
One of the best-known British commercialised pickles or relishes, is that of Branston Pickle, a spiced vegetable mixture - and a staple for all cheese sarnies (sandwiches) and ploughman's lunches! There are many generic brands on the market now, but this is the closest set of ingredients and the most authentic taste, compared with the Original Branston Pickle recipe! Branston Pickle is wonderful when added to curries and stews, and you MUST try it with toasted cheese or Welsh rarebit - delicious!
- 9 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 medium swede, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 ounces dates, finely chopped
- 1 small cauliflower, finely chopped
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 medium apples, finely chopped, unpeeled
- 2 medium finely chopped courgettes, unpeeled
- 15 -20 small cornichons or 15 -20 small gherkins, finely chopped
- 10 ounces dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3⁄4 pint malt vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring them to the boil.
- Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the swede is cooked, but still remains firm, about 2 hours.
- Stir well to redistribute all of the vegetables.
- Bottle and seal in sterile and hot jars.
- Allow the pickle to age for a few weeks before using, this improves the taste and it will become more "mellow".
- Serve with cheese, ploughman's lunches, in sandwiches, with cold cuts and meats. This pickle is also wonderful when added to curries and stews.
This recipe is good in flavor but not texture, too much cauliflower changes the texture and makes it look different to Branston. There are also small bitty bits in this sauce, mustard seeds? Mustard powder is what I will use next time. The Branston I know consists of individual pieces of veg with a SMOOTH rich sweet vinegary sauce.
I am English (living in California) and love, love, love cheese and pickle sandwiches so when I found a recipe for Branston Pickle - I was really happy, the imported stuff being so expensive! I halved the recipe for a test batch and perhaps this was unwise because who is to say what half a small cauli looks like? I used my best judgement (having made countless jams, relishes and jars of chutney) and must have been really off because there just was no liquid at all to bring to the boil. So I doubled the liquid ingredients, added about 4 cups of water and it kind of worked. I used the browning liquid kitchen bouquet to try and get the finished product looking a bit more branston-y and it did, kinda. Does it taste like pickle? Kinda. Would my husband recognize it as pickle if I didn't tell him what it was called? Nope! It tastes nice, but NOT anything on a par with the real Branston. I may try it again, but as malt vinegar is really expensive, and the kitchen bouquet is really expensive I may just give up and buy the real thing.
I thought the flavor was great. I used 2tsp of mustard powder instead of the seeds. Also, I used 2 tsp of cayenne pepper which gave it an unauthentic but nice amount of heat. I also used 4 tbsp of corn starch, mixed with a little cold water, and added at the end of the simmer to thicken it properly. It made just about 5 pint jars, and I processed them for 10 minutes in boiling water.