Recently, I shared my recipe for French Canadian Tourtiere (meat pie). It’s delicious and savory comfort food with flavors that are reminiscent of fall and winter. It’s the kind of dish that makes you feel cozy all over. Since then, I’ve had some readers asking about the “red stuff” in the dish beside the Tourtiere. That, my friends, is cranberry chutney.
Cranberry chutney is the perfect slightly sweet, slightly tangy accompaniment to Tourtiere. It’s also delicious with baked ham, pork roast or chops, or roast chicken, beef, or turkey. I also like it as part of a ploughman’s lunch, served along with some cheddar cheese.
I grew up eating Tourtiere as is. My dad (and now my son-in-law) always preferred his with ketchup. In recent years though, I have discovered just how tasty it is with a little dollop of cranberry chutney on the side. In my world, cranberries make pretty much anything taste better. But, I’ve never felt that Tourtiere needed anything else.
Then came the year of the “meh” Tourtiere. I wasn’t well so I didn’t make my own. They didn’t have our favorite brand at the store, so we tried another one. Let me just say that the idea of “staying in your own lane” is sometimes really good advice. This Tourtiere was made by a company that specializes in chicken. Not really a great fit.
It wasn’t bad by any means. It’s just that compared to my own recipe, we found it a little bland. That was the year I discovered this scrumptious cranberry chutney. The flavors complement the spices in the meat pie so well that I’ve continued making them together from time to time!
Cranberry Chutney Recipe
I’m going to give you a heads up here about some ways to make this recipe go from delicious to out of this world. If you have any turkey fat on hand, use that in place of the olive oil. I know, I know, come on Cyn!!! Who keeps turkey fat on hand? But you know, if you’re making this around the same time that you’re making a turkey dinner, you might as well make use of the fat, am I right?
No turkey fat? Bacon grease is another great option. Or head to your local grocery store – you’re probably going to need one that carries some of the more “gourmet” items – and buy some goose fat. I can get it at Loblaws here in Canada.
Any one of these options add just an extra little punch of flavor to this recipe. They also add extra calories and make it significantly less nutritious but with the sugar content in it, it’s not really health food anyway.
Just recently, I tried adding a splash of bourbon to this recipe. Oh. Em. Gee. It was delicious! I used the Jim Beam Devil’s Cut which added a little bit of extra spiciness to the recipe.
Cranberry chutney with a hint of apple and a depth of flavor you’re going to love. This is the perfect accompaniment to Tourtiere (meat pie), roast turkey, pork tenderloin, and so much more!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup shallots finely minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
- 2 apples diced
- 12 oz fresh cranberries (1 bag)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup apple juice or cider
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (Add another 1/2 tbsp if you find it too sweet)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 3 fresh basil leaves chiffonaded
Cut bacon up into small pieces. Cook it in the olive oil. You want it to be cooked well but still shy of completely crispy. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
Add shallots (you can use minced onion in place of these if you wish) to the pan and cook until softened.
Return the bacon to the pan along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium low (just above a simmer) and cook for about 10 minutes until the cranberries and apples have softened.
Remove the lid and turn down to a low simmer. Cook until the liquid has reduced to the thickness you prefer. For me, this takes about 10-15 minutes.
At this point, you might want to taste it (when you’re making it for the first time) and add more brown sugar or vinegar as desired to adjust the flavor.
I like to keep the chutney fairly chunky, so I simply use a fork or one of those metal pastry blenders to chop up the mixture a bit. If you like it thinner, you can use a hand blender or cool the mixture down and pop it into a regular blender or food processor.
Will keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.