Thursday, April 17

An alternative to apple sauce?

Having lots of rhubarb at the moment, I was looking for different ways to use it. We have made crumbles, rhubarb compote and rhubarb crumble muffins will soon be added to the list but I wanted to use rhubarb in a more savoury way.

Being positioned right in the middle of Yorkshire's Rhubarb Triangle each year Wakefield hosts a Festival of Food Drink and Rhubarb. At one time it was just The Rhubarb Festival and one of the features was to produce a full dinner menu based around rhubarb. There were dishes for starters, main and dessert courses. I seemed to remember rhubarb and pork as a combination and so decided to try and find a recipe for a rhubarb sauce that could replace the more traditional apple sauce accompaniment for pork.

I found quite a few variations on the Internet many were really just the same recipes as we use to make compote and I wanted something a bit different. In the end taking bits and pieces from a few different recipes I came up with my own variation.

I'm afraid it's not very photogenic - maybe the later pink variety will make a prettier sauce.
I didn't really measure anything but to give you some idea. I fried a chopped shallot in oil to soften and added chopped rhubarb. Rather than adding water I added some white wine - just enough so the rhubarb would stew in it - about a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and sugar - about half weight of rhubarb. This was all simmered until the rhubarb was soft and the sauce thickened.

I was going to add some spices, ginger, cinnamon or cloves but decided to try that another time. Other recipes use orange juice as the cooking liquid or a chicken broth and also add mustard. I wasn't sure about the chicken broth or mustard. There is plenty of scope for a bit of experimentation.

My next project is to try making pork and rhubarb burgers. Our butcher makes pork and apple burgers so why not? I just need to decide which herbs or spices to use in the mixture


24 comments:

  1. I like this idea - especially for this time of year when we have no apples.

    Have you made chutney with it? Rhubarb and ginger chutney is one of my favourites.

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    1. I haven't tried rhubarb chutney, Sarah but it is on the to check out list.

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  2. I like Rhubarb Fool - made with lots of cream. I also like stewed rhubarb served with a piece of cheddar cheese to nibble with it.
    You don't say whether your rhubarb sauce for with the pork was nice or not...

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    1. We try to limit the amount of cream but I bet that is delicious, Mark I should have said that if you like pork with apple sauce you will also like this - we enjoyed it.

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  3. That's adventurous. I have to admit that I'm not a lover of sauces with meat, the only one I'm really fond of is mint sauce with lamb, in fact, mint sauce with anything for me.

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    1. Many people quake at the thought of fruit and meat combinations, Jo but we really mix them together a lot.

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  4. I often wish I liked Rhubarb as it grows easily here, alas I have some not so fond childhood memories of eating the stuff stewed and I gag at the thought lol. However I do seem to remember eating it raw, freshly snapped and dipped in sugar - though I'm pretty sure the lure was the sugar rather than the Rhubarb as I have a very sweet tooth lol.
    Maybe one day I'll have a go at Apple sauce.

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    1. I remember being given sugar and a stick of rhubarb too, Linda.

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  5. That sounds lovely Sue, though I'm with Mark with Rhubarb fool or better still Gooseberry fool.

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    1. It's not an either or at our house, Joanne as we have so much rhubarb

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  6. Mmm, that sounds delicious, I love rhubarb and since I don’t grow it, I sometimes buy it from Tesco – which probably sounds bonkers for all of you who has it growing like mad in your gardens and allotments, but I really don’t have a space for it in my garden.
    My favourite rhubarb dessert is a Norwegian one called something like ‘Veiled farmer girls’ . You take equal amounts of breadcrumbs and sugar and fry it so the sugar melts and coat the breadcrumbs, without burning it and leave it to cool. Layer rhubarb compote with the breadcrumbs and top with whipped cream or custard. Yummy! Not sure how it ended up with that name but the cream is obviously the veil :-)

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    1. Not bonkers at all Helene. Growers in our area rely on being able to sell their crops. There used to be a special train called the Rhubarb Express that left each morning from Wakefield for Covent Garden.

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  7. Sounds yummy! I guess the vinegar and wine add a nice sharpness. I'm loving my compote with porridge in the mornings. xx

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    1. We are having compote on our porridge too, Debbie and freezing some for when we have none freshly available.

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  8. Actually I have no idea about the rhubarb taste. Would you tell me how about the real taste? Here rhubarb is only planted on the high land for its root as a medicinal stuff and additional 'spice' in cigarette.

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    1. How to describe the taste, Endah? Anyone please add your descriptions. Unsweetened it is very sour or tart so does need sugar adding to it, I can't really think of anything else that tastes like it.

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  9. As much as I'm not a fan of Rhubarb - you made my mouth water Sue! Good luck with experimenting with those burgers.

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    1. That's planned for next week, Angie.

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  10. How interesting, I haven't thought of using rhubarb as a savoury before. I pleased that mine has finally begun to show.xxx

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    1. It's very versatile, Snowbird.

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  11. The muffins look delicious and thinking about your sauce I'm also wondering if it would make a membrillo to for cheese and also a burger relish for pork.

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    1. The muffins are delicious, Victoria. Relish sounds like a good idea. I have been considering a chutney.

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  12. My problem is not enough rhubarb. My poor plants are struggling to compete with horrible couch grass. They're not winning. I've picked a bit, but there won't be a glut. They need rescuing! The idea of rhubarb instead of apple sauce is a good one. I didn't know you could eat it raw, intriguing. I'm wondering if a little could be grated eg. in coleslaw or in a salad dressing.

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    1. Raw isn't what I would recommend, C J. As a child we dipped it in sugar which isn't a good idea nowadays.

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