Ploughman's Pickle Recipe

Ploughman's Pickle
(AKA: Brown Pickle, Sweet Brown Pickle, and Branston's Pickle®)
Submitted By: Taz

Ploughman's Pickle is a classic British condiment that is a thick, brown, spiced vegetable 'relish' that is sweet, savory, tangy, and complex - a flavor almost impossible to describe. So ubiquitous is ploughman's pickle in the UK that when they use the word 'pickle' by itself, they are most likely referring to this concoction - THIS is the 'pickle' in a cheese and pickle sarnie (sandwich) and is an essential part of the ploughman's lunch served at nearly every pub in the Isles.


6 Dates - pitted and cut into ⅛ inch cubes
1 Large Carrot - peeled and cut into ⅛ inch cubes
1 Cup Rutabaga (AKA Swede) - cut into ⅛ inch cubes
1 Cup Cauliflower - cut into ⅛ inch cubes
1 Medium Yellow Onion - small diced
2 cloves Fresh Garlic - minced
1 Medium Granny Smith Apple - chopped fine
1 Medium Zucchini Squash - chopped fine
5 Sweet Gherkins -chopped fine
¼ Cup Dried Apricots - chopped fine
¼ Cup Prunes - chopped fine
¼ Cup Raisins - chopped fine
1 Cup Water
¾ Cup Malt Vinegar
¼ Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
½ lb Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Kosher Salt

  1. Prep all of the fruits and vegetables - AS A TIME SAVER: You can place the apple, zucchini, gherkins, apricots, prunes, and raisins (rough chop everything - especially the larger items) into the work bowl of your food processor equipped with the chopping blade and pulse a few times until everything is chopped fine (almost, but not quite, puréed); scrape down the sides as needed
  2. Place all ingredients (minus cornstarch and ¼ Cup malt vinegar) in a large pot - Place over medium heat and bring to a boil (stirring regularly)
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow mixture to cook (Stirring occasionally) for 2 hours or until rutabaga is tender but not falling apart (the mixture will get very thick as it cooks - add a little water as necessary to keep the mixture 'moving' in the pot but remember: the final consistency should be like a slightly thin jam that will thicken as it cools)
  4. Remove from heat and CAREFULLY transfer to pint jars (you will need apx 3)
  5. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature with the jar lids off (cover with a clean tea towel for now) - Once at room temperature, place on the lids and transfer to the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks to allow the flavors to meld
  6. After pickle has 'matured' serve cold or at room temperature as part of a ploughman's lunch, use it to make cheese and pickle sarnies (or on any sandwich), or use it as a veggie dip, use it as a substitute for ketchup or pickle relish in any number of dishes, add a bit to a soup or stew to give it a wonderful 'kick', spread it over a baked potato... Let your imagination be your guide!

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