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Branston Pickle

Submitted by EB45 19 September 2011

I was living abroad and missed some of the special treats I was used to in Britain. One of these was cheese and pickle sandwiches. Alas, none of the pickles available in Argentina resembled Branston pickle, so I got busy on the web and found a few recipes. Those, combined with a list of ingredients off a jar of said brand of pickle and what was available at the time in Buenos Aires; I worked out this recipe. I must say, the result was as close as you can get to the real thing, yet slightly different: a little spicier.



carrots - 250 g
turnips (or swede, beetroot?) - 150 g
garlic - 6 cloves
dried apricots - 50 g
dates - 50 g
seedless raisins - 75 g
cauliflower - 250 g
onions - 250 g
apple (Granny Smith), peeled  - 200 g
courgettes, unpeeled  - 200 g
small cocktail gherkins  - 50 g
dark brown sugar or jaggery  - 225 g
salt  - 1 tsp
lemon juice  - 60 ml
apple vinegar  - 650 ml
malt extract  - 50 g
Worcestershire sauce  - 1 Tbsp
black mustard seeds (or powder) - 2 tsps
dried Chile de Árbol crushed  - 6 chilis
cumin - 1 tsp
ground allspice  - 2 tsps
ground black pepper - 1 tsp
arrowroot powder - 1 Tbsp


Chop all of the ingredients into 2.5 mm (1/8”) cubes if using as sandwich spread or about 1 cm cube if not. Mix everything apart from the colouring and arrowroot into a large pan.

Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the harder ingredients, like the swede have softened to your liking.

Take a ladle or so of vinegar from the pan and add to a small bowl containing the arrowroot and mix to a paste then return to the pan. Add the caramel colouring and mix well. Stir and cook for 5 minutes more then remove from the heat and allow cool properly.

Bottle in sterilised jars (preferably with plastic lids), leaving for at least a month to mature in a cool, dark place. Will keep for a year or longer.


Turnips were out of season, swedes do not exist in Argentina, I thought I might use radishes but couldn't get hold of any so I tried beetroot.

You could use cornflour instead of the arrowroot. I used something unpronounceable given to me by a Chinese lady. It seemed to have exactly the same properties as arrowroot, so that's what I guess it was.

Use 1 tablespoon of chili powder if you don't have Chile de Árbol.


Please note: this recipe has been submitted by a user of this website and is not one of Delia's. We cannot, therefore, take any responsibility if the recipe contains errors, does not work or is not as you expect it to be, although, as our users are keen cooks, we are confident it will be a great dish. Delia tests each of her recipes three times, which is why you can always be sure of success.



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