Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sweet Runner Bean Pickle

My partner returned from rugby training last week with a carrier bag full of runner beans, 1.5kg/3lb to be exact. One of the players works on a country estate where they are cooked lunches by a chef (very nice too) and was given these 'leftover' beans by the chef. OH seemed not to know that the only thing I have managed to grow in the veg patch this year is runner beans.

A straw poll of the old dears at the WI inspired Country Market simply resulted in Runner Bean Chutney.  I googled it and turned up several recipes but they all seem to boil down (pardon the pun) to the same thing, so I largely followed Delia's recipe for Spiced Pickled Runner Beans in the hope that hers has been tried and tested.

The time of writing it is approximately 5 hours since bottling this pickle and it is not supposed to be eaten for another 4 to 6 weeks.  So I do not know how well it will work out, but I am hopeful.  My  only criticism so far is that it does not taste very mustardy and I had quite a lot of sauce left over after bottling but I found a home for that as a ketchup substitute in today's stir fry.  And as the stir fry seemed very successful I will be freezing the remainder for another stir fry another day.


900g runner beans (after trimming & slicing)
700g onions, chopped
850ml malt vinegar
4 tbsp cornflour
1.5 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp turmeric
700g brown sugar

Makes about six 0.5 litre jars (To sterilise the jars, wash them thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse and heat in a moderate oven for 5 minutes).

In your largest saucepan, simmer the onions with 275ml of the vinegar for 20 minutes until the onions are soft.  Meanwhile boil the sliced beans in salted water for 5 minutes, then strain and add the beans to the onions.

In a small bowl mix the cornflour, mustard and turmeric with a little of the remaining vinegar – enough to make a smooth paste – then add this paste to the onion mixture.

Pour in the rest of the vinegar and simmer everything for 10 minutes. After that stir in the sugar until  dissolved and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Pot the pickle in warmed, sterilised jars, and seal and label when cold.

Keep for 4-6 weeks before eating.

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