Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope all of my friends in the U.S. had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Our time off was nice – we ran errands on Thursday and kept The G Man overnight on Friday. Saturday we did all of our grocery shopping (i.e. we visited our farmers and went to the farmer’s market); Sunday we went swimming with The G Man and Jolly. Yesterday we did a whole lot of nothing, and I was ready for it.
I did a little cooking, but not as much as I expected – I did begin curing the pork jowls for the guanciale and the smoked jowl bacon Beloved is going to finish next weekend (the guanciale will take as long as 12 weeks, depending on how it does while dries). I also cut down 2 small rabbits, and have them marinating in yogurt in the fridge, which we’re going to grill tonight; if they come out well, I’ll post the recipe – probably tomorrow.
This will probably be an integral part of the rabbit recipe. We have a quite large and prolific rhubarb plant in our back yard, mostly because Beloved loves it. I do too, but have been hesitant to cook any because it just takes so much sugar to make it palatable. Unfortunately, this recipe isn’t much of an exception, although I did my best to keep it to a minimum. Based on the Victoria Sauce in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, the original recipe called for nearly four cups of sugar. I replaced the sugar with evaporated cane juice and reduced the amount to 2 cups, as well as increased the amount of onion and raisins called for. I also added water to the recipe, to keep it from burning before the mixture began to soften and break down.
The results were surprising, really – a sauce – or chutney, depending on your preference – that is tart, but sweet, yet not overwhelmingly either. It is marvelous on meats of all sorts: chicken, pork, even beef – the first thing we used it for was as a baste on grilled rib eye steaks, and it was just delicious. I guess tonight we’ll see how it does on rabbit.
We canned ours, and I’ve included those instructions in the recipe. If you don’t want to can it, I’ll be interested to hear how well it freezes. While the original recipe didn’t call for it, I pureed ours with an immersion blender, and the result was the consistency, and color, of a good apple butter. And it would probably be quite good on toast, if you’re so inclined.
- 2 quarts rhubarb, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups seedless raisins
- 2 cups evaporated cane juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- Combine rhubarb, onion, raisins, evaporated cane juice, vinegar and water in a large, heavy pot such as an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick, about 25 minutes.
- At this point the sauce can be used as chutney, or it can be pureed in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth, and used as a sauce.
- To can the sauce, pour while hot into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch head space. Adjust caps. Process in a boiling water bath according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Nutrition (per serving): 39 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1.6mg sodium, 83.9mg potassium, 9.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 8.2g sugar, <1g protein