Tomato Chilli Relish

This is quite potent.

You will need:

  • one medium onion
  • one tin (450g) of chopped tomatoes
  • six cloves of garlic
  • 60mL red wine vinegar (you could use Balsamic, if you wanted)
  • a tablespoon chilli
  • salt, pepper, sugar, 6 cloves

Finely slice the onion, and gently fry in enough olive oil to keep it moist, but not so that it’s swimming. A quick grind of salt, and about half a teaspoon of sugar will help it on its way.

Whilst that’s happening, peel and chop the garlic. When the onion is soft and squishy, move it to one side, add the garlic, and fry for a minute or two; still on a gentle heat. You may need an extra splash of olive oil.

Once the garlic is soft and translucent, move it to one side, and add the chilli. I’m just using the minced stuff that comes in jars, pickled with vinegar. Fry the chilli for about a minute, and then add the tomatoes.

Bring it to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Add the vinegar, another teaspoon of sugar, half a teaspoon of salt, the cloves, and a very thorough grind of pepper.

Simmer gently. Taste from time to time, and decide whether you fancy more sugar, salt, vinegar, etc.

As it reduces, it will change hue from a cheerful orange to a more ominous dark red, and after about an hour, it should have reduced and become thick and sinister. You could shove a handheld blender (purée wand) into the mix at this point, or just leave it as it is. I’d pick out the cloves first, in either case, so they don’t come as a horrid surprise.

Serve hot or cold with sausages, potato wedges, etc.

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