Ploughmans Pickle

ploughmans pickle
  • Yield : 4-5 jam jars
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 2:000 h
  • Ready In : 0m

The recipe

Ploughmans Pickle is a popular pickle to enjoy with cheese and cold meats, thick slices of bread or in sandwiches, with eggs or bubble and squeak.  Bread, cheese and pickle has been a popular combination in the UK for many years, but the name Ploughman’s Lunch, served in many pubs in the UK, only dates back to the 1950’s, just after food rationing was abolished. The Cheese Marketing Board were trying to promote cheese by encouraging “A Ploughman’s” as a pub meal. Although pickles have been made for centuries to preserve a glut of vegetables and fruit in the summer months I assume this was when this particular pickle received its name.  Many recipes today are similar to the popular Branston Pickle, which was first produced by Crosse & Blackwell in 1922, but a sweet pickle of this type would certainly pre-date that.


•  Add 1 tbsp dark treacle if the colour is too pale.

•  If there is too much liquid after the vegetables have softened, add a little corn flour or rice flour.


  • 230g carrots, cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 300g turnips, cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 225g onions, cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 225g dessert apples, cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 15 small gherkins, cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 150g dates, cut into 0.5cm pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 250g dark brown sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves


Step 1

Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.

Step 2

Simmer gently for 1 - 2 hours, until the carrots and turnips are soft. Add a little water if the mixture becomes dry before they are tender.

Step 3

Put into sterilized jars and seal. Leave for about 4 weeks to let the flavours develop.

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