Last year I wrote about a gin I absolutely fell in love with – truth be told, pretty much everyone I know fell in love with it and it became a race when the new batch was released to get your mitts on it – not least because it’s made in Australia and quite rightly, the Australians figured they should get their hands on it first.
I’m talking about the fruity, rich Bloody Shiraz Gin from Four Pillars.
Fast forward to late last year and I finally got my grubby little paws on a bottle, but with it came a challenge. Come up with a recipe for it. I admit, I ummmed and ahhed. Should I go fruity and cake based? I still think it would work in a Victoria sponge, combined with a suitable jam and made into a thick syrup. But in the end, inspiration came from a very different quarter.
The Christmas period saw me sitting in Atlas Bar with Mike from Chorlton Brewery, playing with sour beers and gin. It turns out that sour beer can be a suitable replacement for tonic as a mixer and it was while sipping these and playing with flavour combinations that Mike was encouraged to try Bloody Shiraz. He too fell in love and said the magic words: ‘You should put this in your chorizo jam recipe’.
And so I did. I adapted my bacon jam recipe, swapping out cider vinegar for sherry vinegar, and using a lighter sugar. It took a bit of messing around with – finding the right way to get the gin into the jam without losing it to the richness of the meat, and in the end, it takes a two pronged approach. But it works – and I suspect it would work with dry sloe gin too, but I’ll need to experiment with that and let you know. In the meantime, this works beautifully with scrambled eggs, cheese on toast, or on top of a big fat cheeseburger.
- 350g cooking chorizo, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 60g light brown sugar
- 35 ml Sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 shot of espresso coffee (or 75ml strong black filter coffee)
- 75ml Bloody Shiraz Gin
- Pop a frying pan on the hob, and put in the chorizo before turning on the heat to medium to allow the fat to render.
- Cook the chorizo until it starts to brown. Remove from the pan, leaving the fat behind.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until translucent.
- Once cooked, add everything else to the pan, except 25ml of the gin.
- Add the chorizo back to the pan too.
- Turn up the heat.
- Cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy.
- Then leave to cool while you sterilise jars in the oven (see notes for the how-to link)
- Once cooled down, tip everything into a food processor, including the final 25ml of the gin.
- Blitz until you reach a consistency you are happy with (I prefer it quite smooth).
- Once you're happy, spoon into jars and seal.
- The jam will keep for around 1 month. Keep refrigerated.
- Sterilising jam jars, a comprehensive how to: http://www.kilnerjar.co.uk/sterilising-jam-jars-hygiene