How to make vinegar from leftover wine and other clever recipe hacks from Grown and Gathered

Don't pour your leftover booze down the drain - you can make vinegar out of leftover red wine.
Don't pour your leftover booze down the drain - you can make vinegar out of leftover red wine. Photo: Shantanu Starick

Matt and Lentil Purbrick tell you how to make vinegar out of leftover wine, create no-bake muesli bars from scratch and produce cold-brew coffee at home (without any need for fancy equipment!) in this excerpt from their new Grown and Gathered cookbook (Plum, $45).

If you drink wine, you will never have to buy vinegar again. Have you ever opened a bottle of wine, drunk half of it and gone to drink it a week later, only to find it just doesnʼt taste that good anymore? That is the wine oxidising and basically turning into vinegar, which is what the acetic acid bacteria – naturally present in your wine – wants to do, but we stop it by bottling and sealing it to lock out the oxygen. This recipe just gives leftover wine that kickstart to make sure it becomes vinegar. Now you know how to make it, you will have more vinegar than you ever need, and will never waste that leftover wine again.

Waste wine vinegar

'Grown and Gathered' by Matt and Lentil (Plum Books, $45).
'Grown and Gathered' by Matt and Lentil (Plum Books, $45). Photo: Shantanu Starick

Time: 5 minutes + 3-6 months culturing

100 ml red or white wine

100 ml unpasteurised vinegar (with the cloudy 'mother')

1. Add the wine to a jar, followed by the vinegar. Place a cloth on top and fasten with a rubber band. This is very important, as it must be exposed to oxygen for it to become vinegar (the cloth just keeps insects out).

2. Place the jar in a dark, warm place and stir occasionally to help the bacteria along with some extra oxygen. It may take a long 3–6 months to become vinegar if the wine has preservatives in it (it's their job to stop this happening!), but un-sulphured, natural wines (as they were made traditionally) might only take a number of weeks.

3. You can use this vinegar to make the next batch, and so on.

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Note. It is important that the vinegar is kept out of sunlight, as it may kill the vinegar culture.

Makes. 200 ml (Use this as a guide and adjust using the same ration to suit how much vinegar you need).

No-bake muesli bars. For Good Food extract of 'Grown and Gathered' by Matt and Lentil (Plum Books).

Freezing these muesli bars makes this recipe super easy and keeps them fresh for at least six months. Photo: Shantanu Starick

No-bake muesli bars

Time: 10 minutes + about 2 hours freezing time

This is a super-easy recipe for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack. These are kind of like a healthy baklava and are incredibly addictive! We store ours in the freezer to keep them fresh and more nutritious, ensuring the oats, nuts and seeds donʼt go rancid.

150 g (1⁄2 cup) unprocessed honey

150 g tahini

70 g butter

200 g (1 and 1⁄2 cups) gluten-free rolled oats

80 g (1⁄2 cup) sunflower seeds

80 g (1⁄2 cup) flaxseeds

60 g (1⁄3 cup) almonds

80 g (1⁄2 cup) pumpkin seeds

80 g (1⁄2 cup) sesame seeds

60 g (1⁄3 cup) chia seeds

1. Line a 30 cm x 15 cm baking tray with baking paper.

2. Melt the honey, tahini and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until combined.

3. Place the oats, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds and pumpkin seeds in a blender and pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.

4. Pour into a bowl and add the sesame seeds and chia. Pour in the hot tahini mixture and massage everything together with your hands until combined.

5. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the lined tray – it should be about 1 cm thick. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth the top. Place in the freezer until set (around 2 hours).

6. Once set, cut into about 6 cm x 3 cm slices and store in an airtight container in the freezer. They will keep for at least 6 months.

Makes 18-20 bars

Cold brew coffee. For Good Food extract of 'Grown and Gathered' by Matt and Lentil (Plum Books).

There's no fancy equipment required to create this cold-brew coffee at home. Photo: Shantanu Starick

Simple man's cold brew

Time: 5 minutes + 12 hours brewing

This recipe is all about stripping coffee back to the essentials and using equipment you already have at home. You donʼt need heaps of equipment to make great coffee. Additionally, cold brewing reduces the acidity of the coffee by over two-thirds, keeping the acidity of your diet low and therefore you healthier!

Cold-brew coffee

100 g (1 cup) responsibly sourced coffee beans, ground to a fine–medium grind (a bit coarser than espresso)

To serve

75 ml cold-brew coffee

190 ml milk of your choice or cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon unrefined sugar (e.g. rapadura)

Unrefined salt

Special equipment

Muslin cloth or a nut bag

1. Place the ground coffee in a large jar and add 500 ml (2 cups) cold water, pouring it in a circular motion to make sure you cover all of the coffee grinds. Put the lid on and place it in the fridge overnight (or up to 12 hours), or leave it on the bench at room temperature for five hours.

2. Place several layers of muslin over another jar (or use a nut bag) and strain the coffee. Store the black coffee in a jar in the fridge for up to four days.

3. To serve, divide the coff ee into jars or cups, add milk or water, vanilla, sugar and a tiny pinch of salt and combine well. Pre-make small jars for an easy coffee during the week, or serve immediately over ice.

Recipes extracted from Grown & Gathered by Matt & Lentil Purbrick (published by Plum, $45). Available now from good bookstores.