Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chilli Doppelbock Chutney

A few weeks ago I made some chilli chutney, using a recipe from a Jamie Oliver book given to me last Christmas. When I do my cooking I like to experiment and play with flavours. For example, the original chutney called for red chillies, so I upgraded those to habeneros which resulted in a very spicy chutney, with a lovely smooth sweetness that rounded it out nicely. Most of the liquid in the original comes from the balsamic vinegar, and it was this I wanted to change, and replace it with some kind of beer.

The decision as to which beer to use was a difficult one, did I want lager or ale, hoppy bitterness or malty sweetness? Then I remembered the night Mrs Velkyal and I had our first, and to date only, bottle of Primator Double 24° - a dark beer of incredible smoothness and sweetness with an alcohol content not far off that of wine, 10.5%. Despite the immense sweetness, it also has a touch of bitterness that I wanted in the final chutney. The night we drank the bottle of Double, both Mrs Velkyal and I passed out about 15 minutes after drinking it – a fact we put down to the beer.

So here is my variation on Jamie Oliver’s “Cheeky Chilli Chutney”:
  • 8 Red Peppers
  • 8 Chillies – 5 red chilli, 2 habanero, 1 jalapeno
  • 3 Red onions – chopped finely
  • 100g Brown sugar
  • 1 bottle Primator Double 24°
  • 5cm stick of cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash balsamic vinegar
  1. Char peppers and chillies until black and blistered

  2. Put peppers and chillies in a bowl, cover with cling film and let steam for 20 minutes

  3. Fry onions in a large saucepan slowly in olive oil with cinnamon, rosemary, bay leaves until sticky

  4. When peppers and chillies are steamed, skin and de-seed then chop thinly

  5. Add pepper and chilli mix to the onions

  6. Add sugar and beer to the pan, stir and bring to the boil

  7. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar

  8. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced and you have a sticky chutney

  9. Remove cinnamon and bay leaves before spooning into sterilized jars

I let the chutney sit for about a week before tasting it properly, however I did have a few tries while it was cooking and it seems to have worked like a dream. Once the week is up and all the flavours have come together in the jars, I hope to have a sweet yet spicy chutney which will go wonderfully with cheddar cheese on rough oatcakes.


  1. Sounds delicious!
    The Primator makes the product sweeter, I presume?

  2. That's the plan - I will find out for sure on Sunday when I crack it open properly. From testing and tasting during cooking, it is rather sweet but the heat from the chillies cuts through that.

  3. Bloody hell! I'll be interested in how that turns out! I wonder though if the acid in the balsamic vinegar acts as a preservative, a bit like pickling (something I tried before, but ehhh... well, I won't be doing it again!).

    I sometimes find that using a very dark beer in cooking can make it a bit too sweet, with porters and stouts at least. I keep making beef stews with different amounts of different porters and stouts as I can't help myself :D Although the Chili I made using Animator worked out pretty well! No overpowering dark malts I reckoned.

  4. Holy Cow this sound great! I'm always looking for something to have with bread and cheese, not that I need an excuse mind, and this sounds perfect. Not sure where I'll get the beer around here but I'll check it out.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I must admit that I tried a touch of it last night, and it is good! Had it on a Marks and Spencer oatcake, with a few slices of gouda. There is a pronouced heat in it but not one that burns terribly. I found with the last batch I made that the heat cools down a bit after a while, but it is still delicious.

  6. Oh this chutney looks very interesting! The only place I've considered beer in my booking is when I want something crispy batter coated.

  7. Hey Coco - you will also find some recipes using beer in stews as well on here. I have a range of recipes I am playing with when it comes to using beer in my cooking, all of which will be posted up here.

  8. That looks fabulous. Do you think it would be OK to use a crapper beer, or do you think the quality of the beer is important?

  9. Hey Boak, I would tend to the opinion that if you put a worse beer in then you compromise the end product - so while I would say that the brand itself is irrelevant, the quality of the beer should be good.


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