Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.

1. Grind the spices together.

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.

4. Add the rest of the spices.

The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.

The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.

And the darker balsamic.

Légumes au Gratin

A nice side dish that goes with pretty much anything. And any vegetable is good, so use what you have on hand.

1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
3-4 carrots
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tea spoon dry mustard
nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne : to taste
a few handful of grated cheese


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Cut the vegetables into bite size and steam until mostly done.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, melt the butter.

3. Add the flour and cook until lightly colored.

4. Slowly add the milk, stirring at the same time to avoid lumps. Season with the dry mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

5. Transfer the steamed vegetables to a small casserole dish.

6. Pour the bechamel over the vegetables. Add the cheese on top.

7. Bake for a few minutes, until the vegetables are done. Turn the oven on broil to make the cheese golden. Serve warm.

Roast Beef

My father’s recipe. Easy to put together, awesome when having people over.

When coming out of the oven the meat will be rare to medium rare, depending on the size of the roast. If you (or your guests) like your meat more cooked simply have a pan aside to sear the meat once sliced. You can also use the dripping from the cooking pan to make a sauce (scrape out the dripping, add water and a  bit of bisto, heat until simmering) and finish cooking the slices in this “jus”. I didn’t do this in the pictures below. Adjust to your own taste.

It’s one of the few recipes where I use margarine. For some reason butter will just not work as a substitute.

6 table spoons margarine
2 table spoon brown sugar
2 table spoon dried mustard
2 tea spoon Bisto
salt, pepper, onion powder, Montreal Steak Spice
1 roast beef


1. Pre heat the oven to 500F

2. In a bowl, mix the margarine, dry mustard, brown sugar and Bisto.

3. Put the beef on an oven safe, open dish. Coat the beef with the margarine mix.

4. To taste, season the top of the beef with the salt, pepper, onion powder and Montréal Steak Spice.

5. Put in the oven for 10 minutes. Then drop the temperature to 350F and cook for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for a minimum of 2 minutes.

6. Slice and serve with the side dishes of your choice. (see notes above for the cooking of the meat)