Saturday, June 07, 2014

Chiles en Vinaigre a.k.a Mexican Carrot Pickle

Mum used to make this one regularly when I was growing up. Unlike many of the other pickles and chutneys, this one was a big hit with us kids and a batch never lasted long.

The actual name of the recipe in the recipe book is Chiles en Vinaigre, but Mum went lighter on the chillies and bulked it out with the other vegetables, so we called it Mexican Carrot Pickle.

These days, I put in the original proportion of chillies - mild to medium big juicy ones like jalapenos, not scotch bonnets though!

This is the recipe for a single batch, but you could double up if you have a glut of peppers or carrots to use up.

  • 12 Chillies - big juicy mild-to medium ones, preferrably a mixture of red and green.
  • 1 large or 2 small Sweet Peppers - again aim for a good mix of colours maybe a yellow pepper?
  • 4 large Carrots - the big fat maincrop ones.
  • 2 large Onions - or 4 smaller ones.
  • 2 cloves of Garlic - use more if you like it garlicky.
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil.
  • Dried herbs - 1-2 tbsp total from a mix of: Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Epazote. If you don't have all of them, double up on the ones you do have.
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt.
  • 1 tbsp Sugar.
  • 1 pint Distilled Malt Vinegar - clear vinegar to let the colours of the veg shine through.
Prep the vegetables: Cut the chillies into slices, and de-seed them if you want to keep the heat down. Cut the sweet peppers into similar sized strips. Peel and slice the carrots into thin rounds or strips. Slice the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.
Heat the oil in a large non-reactive pan, and saute all the vegetables for a couple of minutes to just soften. Then transfer the vegetables to a large heatproof nonreactive bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and heat gently til the salt and sugar dissolve.
Bring to the boil and boil until the vinegar has reduced to about two-thirds of the original volume.
Pour the hot vinegar over the vegetables in the bowl, weight down with a clean saucer or small plate to keep them submerged, and leave to cool.
(If you don't have enough vinegar mixture from one batch to submerge all your vegetables, just quickly make up another batch or half batch to top it up with.)
When cold, pack the vegetables into clean sterile jars with nonreactive lids - ensuring that the vegetables are once again all submerged in the jars, and seal.
Store sealed jars in a cool dark cupboard for a couple of weeks before eating, to let the flavours mingle.

categories: Mexican pickles