Easy and delicious spicy pickled onions recipePosted by Fiona Nevile in Christmas, Jam Jelly and Preserves, Preserving, Vegetarian | 21 comments
Unless you already make pickled onions, let me share a secret. Pickled onions are ridiculously easy to make! They are great Christmas or anytime presents, especially if you use a decent quality vinegar. Poor old Danny’s acid tum can’t take malt vinegar so I always make a couple of jars for him every year using white wine vinegar or cider vinegar. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t posted my recipe until someone emailed me asking for one.
This chutney is based on Oded Schwartz’s method from his superb book Preserving. I’ve added my own Cottage Smallholder twist by changing the spices and leaving them in the jars – as they look pretty and continue to infuse over time. The great thing about Oded’s recipe is that it only takes a few weeks to mature so this can be made well into November and be still good to accompany all those Christmas goodies.
This year we were able to make ours with home grown shallots, bay leaves and chillies from our garden. If you don’t like heat in your pickled onions just leave the chillies out. The only essential ingredients are the onions and the vinegar and the saline solution which will make the onions crisp.
This recipe makes enough to fill one 300g and one 400g jar. But the ingredients can be multiplied if you want to make a large batch.
Easy and delicious spicy pickled onions recipe
600g of shallots
650ml of white wine vinegar
2 cardamom pods – crushed (one for each jar)
2 allspice berries (one for each jar)
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of mixed peppercorns
2 birds eye chillies split lengthwise – including seeds
2 bay leaves
500ml of water
35g of salt
Peel the shallots and put them in the saline solution for 12-24 hours depending on size. Place a small plate over the onions to make sure that they are submerged in the solution and store in the fridge.
The next day. Rinse the onions well. Put the jars into the oven to sterilise them (I turn the heat to 160c/140c fan and when the temperature is reached I turn off the oven. The jars keep hot for quite a time).
Add the spices to a dry non reactive saucepan and gently fry to increase the aroma of the spices (don’t let them burn!). After a few minutes add the vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Best to open the window during this process and keep well away from the saucepan as it reeks. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Pack the shallots into the jars, adding the bay leaves, chillies and a little of the spices from the hot vinegar between the layers. Finally pour the vinegar into the jars, pushing the onions down so that they don’t float on the surface of the vinegar. I reserve a few big ones for the final layer. Seal immediately and store in a dry dark place for at least four weeks before opening.
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