Did anyone else’s grandma make a red hamburger relish? For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, red relish is sweet and tangy, made with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery & onions.
Sadly, despite owning all of my grandma’s recipe books, I could not find the recipe she used. My initial google searches didn’t turn up many results, either. However, once I searched hamburger relish things became more clear.
Red relish isn’t very popular, so most condiment companies have stopped making it. You can purchase something similar from Sunset Gourmet, but their version is quite sweet.
So, I set about to make my own.
Related: Cold Climate Gardening for the Complete Beginner
STEP ONE: Chop, Brine, and Squeeze
Chopping up all the vegetables is a daunting process if you’re doing it by hand. If you’re not fussy with the look of your relish, save yourself some stress and use a food processor.
Chop up the cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, & onion. Place in a large bowl, fill with water and mix in 1/4 cup pickling salt. Let soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.
While I was making pickles, some of mine ended up soaking for 2 days. It wasn’t a problem, and those pickles ended up being really crisp.
Side note: You can also substitute up to half the cucumbers with zucchini. Because you don’t want to be that person who throws extra zucchini in unlocked cars. *cough cough*
Once your vegetable mixture is done soaking, drain the water and squeeze out the excess. Rinse. Drain that water and squeeze out the excess.
Confusing enough for you? This was my least favourite step, especially because we do not seem to own a sieve anymore.
RELATED: ZUCCHINI, BACON, AND TOMATO QUICHE
step two: Cook Up Some Flavour
Chop up your tomatoes and remove as many seeds as you can. I like to chop my tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds. You won’t get everything, but it is a lot quicker.
In a large saucepan, bring your tomatoes, vinegar and spices to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium & simmer for 30 minutes. Add in sugar & drained vegetables. Bring to a boil again, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
STEP THREE: Canning Red Hamburger Relish
Fill and seal jars, processing in a water bath for 10 minutes (adjust your time if you live at a higher altitude). My favourite way to sterilize jars is to cook them in the oven at 235F for at least 10 minutes. It is much more efficient than boiling them, and you save precious stove room and counter space.
Let your jars sit for 3 weeks (by far the hardest part!!) and enjoy!
Red relish is excellent on hamburgers and hotdogs, or any meat that could use a sweet and savoury zing.
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Red Hamburger Relish
A sweet tomato relish that's delicious on hamburgers, hotdogs, and sausage.
- 2 cups chopped cucumbers (unpeeled),
- 2 cups chopped sweet red, yellow, orange, or green pepper,
- 2 cups chopped zucchini,
- 1 cup chopped onion,
- 1/4 cup pickling salt,
- 4 cups chopped seeded peeled tomatoes,
- 3 cups white vinegar,
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds,
- 1 teaspoon turmeric,
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon,
- 1 teaspoon allspice,
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves,
- 2 cups granulated sugar.
1. The night or at least 8 hours before you plan on canning the relish, dice the cucumbers, zucchini, onion, and peppers. Put them in a large bowl filled with water, and add 1/4 cup pickling salt.
2. The next day, drain the water and rinse the vegetables. Squeeze out as much of the water as you can.
3. Chop up your tomatoes and remove as many seeds as you can. I like to chop my tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds. You won't get everything, but it is a lot quicker.
4. In a large saucepan, bring your tomatoes, vinegar and spices to a boil, stirring often.
5. Reduce heat to medium & simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Add in sugar & drained vegetables. Bring to a boil again, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
7. Fill & seal jars, processing in a water bath for 15 minutes. (Adjust your time if you live in a higher altitude.) My favourite way to sterilize jars is to cook them in the oven at 235F for at least 10 minutes. It is much more efficient than boiling them, and you save precious stove room & counter space.
Have you tried red relish? Do you like your relish salty or sweet?
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