Ginger Ginger Ginger...
Ginger is widely used across the globe. It has great medicinal purposes alongside fantastic flavour when used in food and beverage.
Amazingly fresh ginger contains amino acids, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and Vitmamin C!
It can be used in wine, tea and beer but I want to talk today about preserving it.
Stem ginger for me has been one of those things that for years I did not even take an interest as to how it was made. I only used it occasionally, mainly because the price to buy it is so high.
I want to share with you my way of producing stem ginger, which will not only save you money, it will also give you a far superior end result.
Supermarkets jars cost about £3 - they often have a drained weight which means you are receiving only about 180g of ginger. 180g of fresh ginger will only cost us about 45p!
When I make it, I usually prepare about 3kg at a time. I will reduce my recipe so its more suited to home use...
300g Ginger (try and pick the larger pieces without the awkward bits on!)
200g Caster Sugar
200g Light Brown Sugar
Freeze the ginger (unpeeled) overnight in a sealed container, this helps to tenderise it.
Remove from the freezer and peel it, and cut in to approx 1.5cm pieces.
Place the ginger in a pan and cover with water, about 3cm above the top of the ginger.
Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 1 hour, until the ginger is soft.
Remove the ginger and set aside. Keep the cooking water remaining (approx 200ml) and add 200g caster sugar and 200g of light brown sugar.
Slowly heat up to dissolve the sugar, stir until the sugar has dissolved and then stop stirring. Reduce on the stove for about 15 minutes, or until a nice syrup is achieved. Not too thick, not too thin!
Add your ginger back in to the syrup, and store in sterilised air tight jars.
I recommend giving it around a week or so before using the ginger, to let the flavour develop.
I often add a twist to my ginger, using brown sugar all the way and adding a cinnamon stick, thyme and star anise. The below picture shows the difference in colour, and the taste is beautiful!