Friday, 19 September 2014

Piccalilli (and pork pie)

For several years, sometime around midwinter, Paul has asked me why I never make piccalilli. And my response is always "Because it's the middle of bloody winter and none of the veg are in season. I'll make it in summer", but then in summer when all the veg are in season I forget.

This year, I remembered.

Having never made it before, I had to do some research. I knew I wanted crunchy, and I knew I wanted tangy. Of the piccalilli recipes on my shelf, Diana Henry's recipe in Food From Plenty had the lowest ratio of sugar to vinegar AND the shortest cook time for the vegetables, so that seemed like the best option.

The problem with piccalilli, of course, is that it has to mature before you eat it. I almost broke and opened the jar after a week, but I was patient and waited the recommended month.

To accompany it, I made a pork pie - hot water crust pastry (made with home-rendered lard!), a filling of sausage meat, bacon and pork loin, seasoned with white and black pepper, nutmeg and mace, and aspic spiked with cider brandy. My pastry was a bit thick, but the top crust and filling were excellent.

And the piccalilli was extremely good. The vegetables are crunchy and the vinegar is quite mellow, without the aggressive punch of commercial versions. I think next year, though, I will double the amount of dried mustard in it, because it needed just a little more fire. I might also have to make a double batch, because this one won't last us to midwinter.


Suelle said...

They both look most excellent!

The Cat's Mother said...

the pork pie looks good too!

grace said...

being patient has never been a virtue of mine, even when it's been proven to be worth the wait! :)


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