Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Home Made Christmas

Each Wednesday from now until Christmas I will be blogging about a gift idea that can be made at home and I would love it if you would join in each week with your own contribution to "A Home Made Christmas".
I am sure that there are great projects to make, goodies to make, bake and bottle and ideas that you all have to share. I look forward to reading all about the things you make and being inspired by your ideas.

If you are worried about ruining the surprise feel free to post about something you have made in the past, something you saw or something you have received.

When planning home made gifts you need to consider a number of things:
How long the item will take to make? How far ahead do I need to plan?
How long will it keep?  What is the shelf life?
Does it need time to mature like Christmas Cakes/Puddings?
Can I make more than one at a time and give them to a number of people?

This week I want to share a Jamie Oliver recipe that has been a hit in this house ever since I first made it and has been well received as a gift by others.  Jamie's Epic BBQ Sauce.  This BBQ sauce can be used on its own or as a marinade.  It also makes divine spare ribs and chicken wings.
I have multiplied the original recipe by 5 (but feel free to divide it by 5) because it takes a bit of time to make and it means I can make it ahead of Christmas then just bottle it the week before.  I like to bottle it in my Fowlers Preserving Jars and store it till I am ready but it also freezes well.

Jamie's Epic BBQ Sauce

For the Paste:
5 Onions, Peeled and quartered
50 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled
10 Long Red Chillies, stalks removed
5 Tbls Olive Oil

Herbs and Spices:
50 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme, hard stems removed
50 Sprigs of Rosemary, hard stems removed
1 Large Bunch of Corriander
50 Bay Leaves
5 Tsp Cummin Seeds
10 Tbls Fennel Seeds
10 Tbls Smoked Paprika
30 Cloves

To Finish:
Zest and Juice of 10 Oranges
1kg Brown Sugar
1400 Ml Water
30 Tbls Balsamic Vinegar
1 Lt Tomato Sauce
10 Tbls Worcestershire Sauce
10 Tsp English Mustard
1 Lt Apple Juice
5 Tsp Salt
5 Tsp Pepper

Blitz all of the Paste ingredients except the oil in a food processor until you have a really fine paste.  Pour the oil into a stock pot on medium heat and fry this paste for 5 minutes.

While this is happening add all the herbs and spices plus the peel (without any of the white pith) of the oranges to the food processor.  Blitz really well then add to the pot and cook for another minute.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved and you have a thick brown paste.  Then add the water and orange juice and cook for 2 minutes.  Add all your remaining ingredients and stir well.  Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.

Pour the sauce through a fine sieve and into a large bowl.  Rinse the sieve and pour it through a second time to make the sauce really silky.
It is at this stage that I bottle mine into my preserving jars and put into a water bath for 30 minutes to seal.
Alternatively leave it to cool completely and divide between jars/bottles.
It will keep for a month in the fridge or up to a year if preserved in sterile jars.

How are you going with your Christmas plans?  Link up below and leave a comment.


  1. Every time your wednesday post pops up in my sidebar I curse myself that I haven't yet started my Christmas stuff. You seem very organised. And busy! A couple of friends and I are planning to get together and make some lavender bags and maybe a tea mixture. But we haven't done anything much yet - although a small bunch of lavendar is drying in my upstairs room. Don't think we'll have nearly enough for what we want though!

  2. This sounds amazing. So many wonderful flavours. Yum.
    I'm in.

  3. I have made this sauce before and it was very delicious! Thanks for reminding me about it as it would be a lovely Christmas gift for friends.

  4. That does sound the 50 cloves of garlic...and yet i am still not getting organised for Christmas!Thanks for your weekly inspiration though!!


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