Ode to pickles and chutneys

The GP Test Kitchen had a mission, it was time to shine the spotlight on our pickling and preserving queens Julie and Rachel, and the 30 odd delectable chutneys, pickles, jams and jellies they make. So we set to work picking our favourites and using these fridge door staples as the main ingredient in some darn tasty recipes. Below are the best of the bunch.

Lamb, date and banana tagine

Lamb, date and banana tagine

We threw new season lamb shoulder, dates and our banana chutney into a pan, put the lid on and forgot about it for an hour or two. When we remembered again, we found an amazingly thick, rich, dark brown sauce and melt-in-the-mouth pieces of lamb.

The dates slowly disintegrate during cooking which thickens the sauce, and the banana chutney adds a slight tang to the dish, preventing it from being too sweet. Be warned though, it is devilishly morish!


600g boneless lamb shoulder, diced

2 tsp ground smoked paprika

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp powdered celery

½ tsp powdered onion

1 tsp powdered garlic

4 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

4 tbsp Ginger Pig banana chutney

250ml lamb stock

15 dates, stones removed

300g couscous

Small handful of chopped fresh mint to garnish

  1. In a small bowl combine the diced lamb and pour over 1 tbsp of oil and the ground spices, and give it a good mix so the meat is well coated. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large heavy based frying pan and brown the meat in small batches, just until it is evenly covered about 3-4 minutes. Then put to one side.
  3. Turn the heat down and in the same pan fry the onions and the garlic for 5-8 minutes in the marinade and meat juices until soft and slightly golden. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir thoroughly.
  4. Pour the onion and tomato mix into a tagine pot or large saucepan and add the lamb, stock, dates, 2 thirds the banana chutney and plenty of salt and pepper, cover and leave to simmer gently for 60 minutes giving the occasional stir.
  5. Meanwhile, put the cous cous in a heatproof bowl and add enough boiling water as instructed on the packet. Cover with a plate and leave to absorb for 5-8 minutes. Once absorbed, add salt and pepper, 1 tbsp of oil and the mint and combine well.
  6. Take the tagine off the heat and stir in the remaining banana chutney, serve over the couscous


Chilli Jam glazed chicken wings

Chilli Jam chicken wings

This was the easiest and quickest of our experiments, so there’s no excuse for not giving it a go. Guaranteed to be a favourite, but be ready with napkins/wet wipes, and if you’ve got long hair tie it back – things get messy!


500g free range chicken wings

4 tbs Ginger Pig chilli jam


For the raita

Natural plain yogurt

A small handful of chopped fresh mint

Half a cucumber

Pinch of sea salt

Lime wedges to serve

  1. Heat the oven to 150°C, 300°F, gas mark 2.
  2. Place the chicken wings on a tray, season with a little salt and rub a little oil over them. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Turn them half way through cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the middle, then finely chop and mix into a few spoonfuls of yoghurt with the mint and salt.
  4. When the wings are a nice golden brown, remove them from the oven and tip into a mixing bowl. Stir in 4 tablespoons of Ginger Pig chilli jam, making sure that all the wings are coated. Tip the lot back onto the tray and back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with the raita and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


Pork ribs with Ginger Pig crab apple jelly and ginger

Pork ribs

In a Willy Wonka/Heston style move we somehow made pork ribs taste like apple pie, GP test kitchen tasters couldn’t quite believe it.

The crab apple jelly has a slight tartness to it which stops the ribs from becoming too treacle-like, while the fat in the pork renders during cooking making the meat tender and tear-off-with-your-teeth-able.


1.5kg of ribs

1 jar of Ginger Pig crab apple jelly

1 or 2 red chillies depending on how hot you like it, with seeds, finely chopped

2 large garlic gloves, minced

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 thumb sized piece of stem ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp runny honey


  1. Remove the skin from the inside of the ribs. Turn the racks curved-side down, with the wider end facing you. Use a small knife to peel the edge off the translucent membrane away from the smaller end of the rack to form a tab you can grip on to. Pull this towards you, so the membrane comes away from the bones.
  2. Combine all the ingredients (except the ribs) in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Place the ribs in a plastic container and cover them with the marinade mixture, making sure that all the meat is covered. Cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.
  5. Place the ribs and marinade onto a piece of foil, make sure that there is plenty of extra around the sides of the ribs. Take another piece of foil and place over the top, but do not press down on to the ribs, instead you want to make a lose parcel. Seal the edges tightly.
  6. Place the ribs into the oven and cook for 2 ½ hours, taking them out occasionally to baste with the marinade.
  7. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, remove the top layer of foil.


BBQ glazed beef short ribs

short rib

We’re not going to lie to you, we incinerated the first lot of short ribs, it was a sad day and the least said about it the better. Thankfully lessons were learnt, cooking methods adapted and now we’ve cracked it. The BBQ sauce in itself is pretty much perfect, so all we did to jazz it up was add a little honey to create that beloved stickiness.


1kg short ribs

For the dry rub

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

1 dried chipotle chilli, finely chopped


For the glaze

1 bottle of Ginger Pig BBQ sauce

2 tbsp honey

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl then rub into the meat all over. Cover and put in to fridge to marinade for 24 hours.
  2. Heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  3. Place the ribs onto a piece of foil, make sure that there is plenty of extra around the sides of the ribs. Take another piece of foil and place over the top, but do not press down on to the ribs, instead you want to make a lose parcel. Seal the edges tightly. Cook for 3 hours.
  4. Remove the ribs from the oven, turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.
  5. Mix the glaze ingredients into a bowl, then place two thirds of the mixture over the ribs, making sure the ribs are evenly and completely covered. Place back into the oven, still in the foil parcel, and cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cover with the remaining glaze. Return to the oven in its foil parcel for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before serving.