The new season's beetroot will be in the shops in the next week or two here and because the weather has been kind the crop should be wonderfully sweet. I love beetroot but even if you don't I think you might like this. I got it from my mother who got it from her mother.
This is a mild chutney which is especially good for children and people who prefer their chutneys sweet and without chillis. Mum always said that because there isn't a lot of vinegar in it it wasn't supposed to be a keeper but we've never had any trouble with it going off. Unopened jars have still been fine after a year (if we han't eaten it all by then!). Once a jar is opened I keep it in the 'fridge and it's lasted as long as I've needed it.
It's good with cheese, particularly cheddar, cold meats, especially ham or pork and I like it on its own spread between two slices of bread and butter. I put it in small, clip top Kilner jars (bottling/canning jars) with rubber rings because I have them but old, sound, jam jars with new screw tops are fine (make sure the lids are vinegar proof). Sterilise and dry your jars immediately before potting up the chutney. I dry mine in the oven while I'm making the chutney and keep them there until I'm ready to pot it up. They should be very hot when the hot chutney goes into them - a slight sizzle is good!
Recipe - "Mad Cook's Mother's Beetroot Chutney"
3lbs raw beetroot with unbroken skins left on (leave an inch or so of the leaf stalks and any roots as the beetroot will "bleed" less in the initial boiling and won't loose colour - these will be removed and discarded before the beets are grated)
2lb cooking apples (We usually use Bramleys but I don't think you have them in the US so any sour eating apples will do)
1lb onions (any colour - whatever you have on hand)
3/4lb of white sugar (brown sugar is too dominant in this chutney)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 English pint (ie 10 ounces) malt vinegar *
Juice of one lemon.
1. Boil the beets whole in their skins for 1.5 hours (or use pressure cooker) until tender. Cool, peel and grate on the coarse side of a box grater (it's too fine done in the FP and the chutney has no body)
2. Peel and finely chop the onions and apples (best to grate the apples if you aren't using English-type cooking apples which "fall" when cooked)
3. Put all ingredients in a large, wide, uncovered pan/pot such as a maslin** pan. Bring to the boil and cook 1/2 an hour stirring regularly. The vinegar should have evaporated and the chutney thickened enough so that a spoon drawn through the chutney leaves a trail.
4. Pot immediately into hot, dry, sterilised jars and fasten the lids on straight away. Allow to become completely cold before storing in a cool, dry place. Best if allowed to mature for a minimum of 4 weeks but it rarely gets a chance in my house!
* It's a bit of a waste to use wine vinegar. I have used cider vinegar but we really prefer malt vinegar. Just be sure that you use vinegar with a minimum acidity level of 5% and preferably 6%. Over here we can buy proper 6% "Pickling Vinegar".
** This is a maslin pan - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Craf.../dp/B0000C0TFF
(I don't know what you call them.) A dutch oven would do if you have one big enough but I wouldn't use an unlined cast iron one because of the vinegar.