blackberry, garlic & bay vinegar
My blackberry, garlic and bay vinegar recipe is a great way of using up the seasonal harvest of this delicious wild berry. You can of course buy them ready-picked if you are that way inclined, but we are surrounded with them here in the Limousin. It's been a very long blackberry season so far and the continued sunny weather has resulted in a bumper crop. That, and the fact we have not yet managed to tame the mass of bramble bushes in the garden/wild wood!
This recipe is also an interesting alternative to the usual go-to recipe for blackberries; blackberry jam. It is my favourite jam - but there are only so many jars I want to get through over the coming year! I have made vats of this vinegar, but my thinking is I will use much more of it than I would a jam. It is a really versatile ingredient and adds a tangy flavour to many dishes.
The recipe makes a thick, syrupy vinegar - similar to a sweet and sticky balsamic glaze or shrub/'drinking vinegar'. You can use this blackberry vinegar immediately, or store in a cool, dark place until you are ready to use it. It's an interesting sweet, spicy and savoury addition to so many dishes - from a dash or 2 in a meat marinade, to a drizzle on a goats cheese salad. You can even drink it - diluted in hot/cold water as a sort of 'toddy'. I imagine it could be good at keeping the colds and flu away - blackberries are packed with vitamin C. It's great added to stews and slow cooked dishes too - I will definitely add a good glug of it next time I make my blackberry pulled pork recipe. It goes very well with smoked, oily fish too - the sweet sharpness cuts through the fattiness. It also makes an unusual food gift for friends and family.
Bon appetit and I hope you enjoy. Do please share your favourite blackberry recipes too - I am always on the look out for recipe inspiration and love to see what others are cooking. I look forward to chatting with you soon.
inspired by and adapted from a recipe by Galloway wild foods
- As it's difficult to know exactly how many blackberries you have picked I have given a recipe that you can scale up or down depending on the amount you have/want to make. Use 500ml vinegar for every 350g blackberries, plus 1 garlic clove and 1 bay leaf. After you have drained the blackberry liquid add 350g sugar to every 260ml of blackberry liquid.
- you can play around with the flavours and spices in this recipe - as long as you keep the ratio of fruit, to vinegar and sugar the same. Possible variations you could try; cider vinegar instead of wine vinegar, a few star anise instead of the bay leaves, throw in a few dried chillies or pepper corns when boiling up the mix (remove before bottling) for a spicier vinegar. Let me know what you try.
- without the garlic in the recipe I would definitely try this as a drinking vinegar in a cocktail - watch this space...or if you have any ideas let me know.
preparation time: 10-15 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
blackberries - washed and checked over
red wine vinegar
weigh your blackberries and add the correct amount of vinegar and garlic cloves. Give it a whizz in an electric blender (in batches if necessary) or mash. Leave overnight in a clean and sterilised air tight container. I used a kilner type jar.
the next day strain the mixture in a fine sieve, making sure to get as much liquid out as possible. Discard the blackberry mush that is leftover in the sieve. Measure the amount of liquid and add the correct amount of sugar and bay leaves.
add to a large pan (a preserving pan is ideal) and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Skim off any 'scum' that rises to the top of the mix.
leave to cool for a few minutes before decanting into clean, sterilised bottles/jars. Store in a cool, dark place and in the fridge after opening.
|blackberry, garlic & bay vinegar|
recipe also featured on:
|with Lavender and Lovage and Farmersgirl Kitchen|
|Simple & in Season with Ren Behan|