I didn’t like pickled onions until about a year ago. I used to make them for everybody else at Christmas time but never ate them myself. But then one time I was eating cheese and biscuits and decided to give them another go, and I’ve never looked back. Now I have to make massive jars of them, between me and Mike they don’t last very long!
These onions are best made about a month in advance of eating them, but seeing as we don’t have a month left before Christmas, really as long as you wait for a couple of days before eating them you should be fine. Don’t get me wrong, they won’t be bad if you eat them before that, but it just takes a few days for the flavours to really come together.
These are good, really good. They should make about 3 large jars of 5 small ones. After you have eaten all of the onions you can re-use the pickling liquid a few more times and make even more pickled onions. Or you could use it for a salad dressing.
**Pre-warning** — Don’t make this if you have guests coming over within a few hours – the vinegar stinks the house out! Get some scented candles on the go and open a few windows. When I made them, I also made my Christmas Scent at the same time so it was fine (see previous post).
1.5kg pickling/small onions
1 litre white wine vinegar
75ml olive oil
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
100ml balsamic vinegar
— Peel all of yor onions. To make it easier, put them into a bowl, cover with boilng water for a couple of seconds then drain. Use a knife to peel them, the skins should now come off easily after being in the boiling water. It will take a while to do all of them, I sat down and did it in front of the TV, watching another episode of Gossip Girl, my new obsession.
— Place all ingredients except the balsamic vinegar into a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add your peeled onions and continue to simmer for 8 minutes. Don’t cook for any longer than this as your onions will end up being soft rather than crunchy… I guess it depends on how you like them but I like them with a bit of bite!
— After eight minutes, divide your onions between the jars, leaving the pickling liquid in the pan. Turn up the heat and boil for 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and pour over the onions to cover them. Seal the jars whilst still hot and keep them in a cool, dark place until they’re ready to be eaten.
— Serve with cheese and biscuits, chutney, or however you like to eat them. Yummy!!