On a recent trip up to the big smoke to visit some old mates I was forced to leave my beloved bulldog behind. Luckily, he moved in with The Pom for a few days where I knew he would be doted on.
When I got back I wanted to thank The Pom for babysitting with a present but was left feeling pretty uninspired after a trip to the shops. Knowing her love for food, I decided to knock up a little something at home and package it as a gift. I really love giving something handmade as a present - it is way more personal, original and often dirt cheap. I swung past Mr.Price Home and found some glass jars for R9.99. I figured I could work with that. Here's what I filled it with...
Stuff you'll need to fill 2 jam-jars:
- 2 Tablespoons of butter
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 400g sliced onions
- A good handful of rosemary or thyme, finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons muscovado sugar
- A good handful of prunes, pitted and chopped
- Juice of 2 oranges
- 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. It is worth getting specially aged balsamic. It is a bit more expensive but is totally different to normal balsamic. It is thicker, sweeter and absolutely makes this dish. (And others.)
- 100ml of shiraz
Okay, what to do:
1. Heat the butter and the oil in a large dish over a low to medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the rosemary/thyme, the sugar, and season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes more.
3. Add the prunes, the wine, the orange juice and the balsamic vinegar. Bring liquid to a gentle simmer and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
4. When you are happy with the consistency, remove from heat and allow to cool. You want a rich, sticky confit.
5. If using glass jars, wash thoroughly in warm water before pouring in your confit.
The toughest part about this recipe is getting your seasoning right so keep tasting while cooking. Add vinegar if you want it sharper, add a bit of sugar if it isn't sweet enough, black pepper for some kick etc.
The end result is - if I do say so myself - outrageous. Serve it up with strong cheeses like gorgonzola, gouda and stilton.
That wasn't so hard was it?