Tomato Relish

Tomato Relish
Tomato Relish


There’s nothing easier to make than this tomato relish: add ingredients to pot, let stew for an hour, cool down, and now it’s ready! Ballymaloe Country Relish is my favourite and is such good quality, so I usually don’t bother making relish myself, but I thought it would be nice to make a batch and stock up with a few jars for Christmas. They make nice little gifts for people too if you wrap a ribbon around your jar. I haven’t done that myself, but it’s a nice idea for the more organised people out there!

This recipe is adapted from a Rachel Allen recipe (and as a Ballymaloe cook, her recipe is probably closet to their famous Country Relish), so give it a go and enjoy.


Ingredients (makes four jars):

800g vine tomatoes chopped

200g cherry tomatoes chopped

250g cooking apples chopped (I used a mixture of cooking apples and cox’s apples)

250g chopped brown onion

225ml white wine vinegar

175g raisins

300g sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp nutmeg


1. Throw all ingredients in to a big pot. Let sugar dissolve and then bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Then bring down to a simmer and leave to simmer for an hour, stirring the whole time to avoid the end of the pot burning (using a heavy bottomed pot will help prevent this).

2. When done, let to cool. Taste and season if required with extra spices or salt/pepper.

3. When cooled put into sterilised clean glass jars. (You can sterilise them by placing them in the oven at 180C for 5 mins). Secure lids tightly. These are best enjoyed if left to mature for a week or two first, but I had some of mine that day and it was really nice too.

Chop Tomato and Onions
Chop Tomato and Onions
Add in Sugar, Spices and Seasoning
Add in Sugar, Spices and Seasoning
All Ingredients In
All Ingredients In
Start to Simmer
Start to Simmer
Almost Ready
Almost Ready
Tomato Relish
Tomato Relish


15 thoughts on “Tomato Relish”

  1. I just made this yesterday, from a whole bunch of tomatoes from pour garden. What a perfect way to preserve them! This is absolutly delicious! We tried it on a (homemade) hamburger) which i can recomend too! The first jar was opened right away, and really good! So i.m curious how it will be in two weeks when is has matured! thanks for sharing!!

    1. Great, I’m delighted you found it so delicious! It’s a great one and the jars of relish last for months. I agree they’re great in burgers, I also like them in sandwiches or with an omelette. Enjoy πŸ™‚

      1. I just made this with green tomatoes and it was fabulous! The apple raisons and spices really make this great!

      2. can you tell me what apples you used in these? I live in the US and we do not have cooking apples here…not like in Ireland – many thanks for sharing this recipe –

      3. Hi Annalisa, cooking apples are very tart/sour large apples that we use in cooking and baking (always sweetened when used in baking). They’re much more tart than general eating apples which tend to be quite sweet. I’m not sure what varieties are most common in the US, but I’d recommend going for whatever local variety is a bit more tart and flavourful- basically avoid any apples that are overly sweet. Best of luck with it, I hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚

  2. We moved to the states where Ballymaloe is harder to come by and much dearer when we do find it.
    I tried one batch just to see if it was close to the original.
    I used tomatoes from my garden and bought the rest of the ingredients.
    My husband loves it, he says this recipe is better than Ballymaloe, no sour aftertaste.
    I’m on my 4th batch now and started using distilled vinegar. It works just fine and is much cheaper. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Karen, that’s fantastic I’m delighted you love the recipe. I’m a relish fiend, I think it goes so well with so many dishes πŸ™‚ It’s great to make the batches as well, a few jars make great presents. If you like this one you should try my apple relish too, also really good if you like the Ballymaloe one πŸ™‚

  3. we tried this relish last year while we went home for a visit. We had the “burger” at McDonnell’s with the relish and it was great! I have found a recipe and am going to try canning it so we can eat it all winter. Carole

  4. Hi,

    I am excited to try your recipe. I just returned from Ireland and loved this relish. I am making it for Christmas gifts. Do the jars need to be kept refrigerated right away or only once they are opened? Thank you!

  5. Hi! This recipe is delicious, just like what I had in Ireland. I made the recipe and put them in canning jars. The jars seemed to seal like jams, although I didn’t boil them like jams. I am wondering if the relish needs to be refrigerated right away or would it be good until someone opened the jar?

    1. Thanks Marybeth, sorry I’ve been so inactive online I’ve missed a lot of old comments. I’m delighted you like it so much, tomato relish is a firm favourite in Ireland. I always seal mine like jams and never refrigerate them until opened and they’re fine. To be honest my batches never last more than a few months before they’re all gobbled up, but I’ve never had issues with them lasting a few months in a cupboard before opening and refrigerating. Best of luck!

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