Christmas Hamper #1 Red Onion Chutney

Red Onion Chutney
For your first instalment of Christmas Hamper goodness I am giving you caramelised red onion chutney. Last year I made Hugh’s fig and cranberry Christmas chutney which was lovely, but had quite a few ingredients and I wanted to give you guys something where you can get the ingredients from your local shop and thats nice and easy to make. I love red onion chutneys as they go with nearly all cheese – bonus!

I liked the addition of thyme and red currant jelly in the Delicious recipe so I added these to mine. It also doesn’t take hours and hours to cook down – I cook it for about an hour. This is my first instalment of the Christmas Hamper series as the longer it has to ‘age’ in your jars the better the flavour. The chutney will last a couple of months.

Ingredients
– 5 x red onions, thinly sliced
– 1/2 scotch bonnet, sliced
– 1 x fresh thyme sprig
– 80g of light brown sugar
– 80ml balsamic vinegar
– 100ml red wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp red currant jelly
– 1 x bay leaf

You will also need sterilised jars to put your Red Onion Chutney in.

With a little oil in your pan (I use a heavy bottomed large pan) add your sliced onion and chilli with the bay leaf and thyme. Let this fry on a low heat for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally. You want the onions to become nice and soft and almost translucent.

Red Onion Chutney
At this point add the sugar and vinegars. This is the bit I don’t really like as the smell can be a bit overwhelming. I normally crack open a window otherwise the flat can smell for hours! Also, it may seem like a lot of liquid but it will thicken up dramatically. Bring it to the boil, then turn down to keep it at a simmer for 30 minutes. The onions should begin to caramelise – you will need to stir occasionally. If the chutney is still a little runny then continue to simmer until it reaches a thick chutney-like consistency. Keep a close eye on it towards the end and once it’s reached the right consistency add the red currant jelly, stir through and let it cook for a further 5 minutes. Then take off the heat.

Red Onion Chutney
When its ready, allow it to cool a little and put the chutney into sterilised jars. Screw on the lids straight away, whilst it is still hot. To sterilise my jars (I used ones I had collected but places like hobbycraft, robert dyas and most supermarkets sell nice little ones) I wash them in hot soapy water, rinse in hot water and let them dry. I then put them onto a tray in the oven at about 115°C for 15 minutes. I usually do this whilst the chutney is cooking.

Dalton-Banks Christmas Hamper

Then you can use some hessian squares and festive ribbon to finish off. I bought this hessian and cut it down to size. You could also label them – probably a good idea, something which I forgot to do with this batch! This is such a quick and easy recipe and it’s great for all the cheese eating over the festive period.

Red Onion Chutney

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