What would a comfort meal be without mustard pickles? This side dish can go with everything from boiled dinner to a beautiful ham hock.
For this recipe I bought my cukes for 25 cents a pound from a local farm producer. When you buy direct local produce, you can cost save so much from the bigger grocery outlets and I was guaranteed the freshness I wanted to make the best pickles possible.
I also opted to add a red pepper to the recipe for a pop of colour and to add a little natural sweetness.
The vibrant yellow of these pickles will brighten up your fall and winter table settings but you better put out an extra dish because these go fast when put out.
- 8 cups pickling cucumbers, chopped
- 4 cups onions, chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower flowerets (apx. 1 small cauliflower head)
- 4 cups white pickling vinegar
- 3½ cups sugar
- ½ – ⅔ cup all-purpose flour, depending on how juicy or thick you like pickles
- 1½ tbsp tumeric
- 1½ tbsp celery seed
- 1 tbsp mixed pickling spice, tied in a cheesecloth sachet
- ½ cup dry mustard
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- Pinch cayenne
- 1 small red pepper, chopped
- Coarse pickling salt
- Peel the cucumbers. Slice in half, lengthwise. Slice in half again. Remove and discard the seeds. Cut cucumbers to desired size, apx. ½″ – ¾″ pieces.
- Peel the onions and cut into pieces similar in size to cucumbers.
- Separate the cauliflower into individual flowerets.
- Place cucumbers, onions, and cauliflower flowerets into a large bowl.
- Make a brine of pickling salt and water using ½ cup coarse pickling salt to 4 cups of water. Pour over the vegetables, ensuring they are completely covered. (I use 6 cups water and ¾ cup pickling salt). Let stand overnight or 8-10 hours.
- Drain vegetables in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove any excess salt. Let vegetables drain for 45-60 minutes. Add cup-up red pepper.
- In a large stock pot, bring to a boil 3 cups of the vinegar and 3 cups of the sugar along with the pickling sachet made of pickling spice tied in cheesecloth. Boil 2-3 minutes.
- Mix remaining ½ cup of sugar with the flour, tumeric, celery seed, dry mustard, ginger, and cayenne.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of vinegar to the dry ingredients and whisk till smooth. Add apx. ¾ cup of the hot vinegar-sugar mixture to this sauce. This will “temper” it and keep it from going lumpy when added to the hot liquid mixture in the pot. Stir and pour into the vinegar-sugar mixture in pot. Cook sauce over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. When sauce coats a spoon and drips off slowly, it is thick enough to add the vegetables. (This could take 25-30 minutes.)
- Add the drained vegetables to the thickened mustard sauce and cook over medium-low heat just until vegetables are heated through, apx. 12-15 minutes.
- Bottle pickles while hot into hot sterilized bottles. Heat bottle lids and apply to bottle tops. Place rims on bottles, finger-tip tightening only. Listen for the “pop” sounds as the bottles seal over the next few hours. Store in cool area.