Lessons from five years of making chilli jam

You probably have a go-to recipe, something that you can create from scratch that blows peoples’ minds. Or at the very least something you have cooked up more than once and not completely stuffed, ruined and butchered. There’s a dish or specialty out there that you make that you know others enjoy consuming. Well mine is (oddly enough) chilli jam.

Downunder Dad’s go-to recipe, a simple yet effective chilli jam.

I have “Downunder Dad-ified” the recipe for you below, it is stupidly simple and boring and easy. However, the power is in the surprise – which makes it a great addition to tables and BBQs around Christmas and New Year gatherings.

This year, for the first time ever, my confidence has reached a point with my own chilli jam that I am even giving it away as gifts!

Q. What is your one go-to recipe?
Simply comment below…

In summary this is what I have learned after many batches of basic chilli jam attempts:

  • Quality results take time and patience
  • Not everybody has the same tastes
  • Rejection isn’t always offensive
  • There is a lot in a name
  • People fear the unknown
  • Not all chilli recipes are spicy
  • Sugar lasts for a long time
  • Red capsicums are expensive
  • Keeping jars is worthwhile

Downunder Dad’s Chilli Jam

OK, ready for the recipe, I will try my best, this will be my first ever food blog post, hahaha…

Ingredients: Red capsicums, red onion, fresh chilli, vinegar, sugar (brown/white onion, tomato, dry chilli flakes, salt and pepper all optional).

  • Chop up around 400gm of red capsicum (two or three depending on their size).
  • Chop up a peeled red onion and a red chilli (seeds in or out is your call).
  • Add a peeled white or brown onion too if you have one getting old in the fridge. Even a tomato or two as well. None of this is required, but fun.
  • Add a healthy dose of salt and/or pepper. You’re the boss, you choose.
  • Chuck it all into a blender of some sort, there’s plenty to choose from these days. Blitz it up.
  • Then get a medium saucepan hot on the stove, put in 100ml of vinegar and dissolve 200gm of sugar (white or raw only, brown doesn’t work well). The stove needs to be pretty high to dissolve the sugar.
  • Then add in everything from the blender, stir well, bring to the boil while still stirring.
  • At this point I add in a heaped teaspoon of dry chilli flakes, but your call.
  • Once it boils, turn down to low/medium heat so it simmers, keep stirring occasionally and let it steam out (reduce) for about 45-60 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on it, stir as required, don’t let it burn on the bottom, that’s just lazy.
  • Once you can part the red seas (Moses style) turn the heat off and give it one last stir. *
  • Wait for it to cool, add to a sterlised jar and stick her ^ in the fridge, she ^ will last for a couple of months.

* By parting the red seas I just mean dragging your stirring tool along the bottom of the saucepan and the chilli jam being thick enough to hold slightly in two halves briefly. Here I took a terrible pic to show you.

When the chilli jam stays separated it is time to cut the heat.

Please be advised that I did not mean to offend anybody by referencing Moses.

If anything above is beyond your skill level then you really need to lift your game!

Also it should be noted that this “recipe” can easily be double batched, which I just did for Christmas gifts, worked exactly the same. Just double the quantities, but the cook time was similar.

When folks ask what to have my chilli jam with, my reply is quite straightforward, “eggs and meat”. And I am yet to be proven wrong.

I love it on eggs of any variety, in order of preference it would go fried, scrambled, poached, baked and then hard boiled a distant last. Plus whatever meat you have planned, some Downunder Dad chilli jam works a treat whether it is lamb chops straight from the BBQ or steamed dim sims from your local FnC shop (meat content debatable).

I dabbled with chutney and relish and just could not get the balance to my liking. I spent years making bagels and then my wife found out she was gluten intolerant. I can do a mean spaghetti bolognese just like most blokes think they can. But without doubt my chilli jam has come up trumps.

In fact my chilli jam would go great with bagels or spag bol now that I think of it.

That’s it really, I have had some versions of my chilli jam come out much better than others. Over the years I have tweaked how I go about it so now you can skip straight to the front of the queue. Just whip yourself up a batch and enjoy regularly, knowing that you did it yourself you bloody legend!

If anyone of you reading this does make a batch, please send me a pic πŸ™‚

^ Please be advised that I did not mean to offend anyone by referring to my chilli jam as a female.


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