It’s that time of year when it’s starting to get cold and the shops are filling up their seasonal shelves in preparation for the big C-word! It’s far too early for me to thinking about when ole St Nick gets here, but one thing I MUST do at this time of year is my pickled onions.
We love these sharp little onions in this house… They are an essential accompaniment to any buffet or sandwich in winter and every year I make more and more as I attempt to ensure I have enough to last through to the next year. I’ve not got it right yet, we always run out.
Anyway, over the last few years I’ve been perfecting my method and I think I have it just about worked out; I thought some of you might like me to share it so you can enjoy them over the festive period too.
A quick word about vinegar; you could buy plain vinegar and spice it up yourself with bay leaves, peppercorns, chillies etc but I don’t bother. I much prefer the traditional Sarson’s Pickling Vinegar for two reasons:
- It’s what my mum always used so nothing else would feel ‘right’.
- It contains a higher than usual acidity at 6% (other vinegars tend to be about 5%). Inevitably, some of the liquid transfers from the onions into the vinegar solution. The high acidity means the product won’t spoil when this happens.
When it comes to salting your onions, there are two schools of thought. Some will tell you to dry salt them, but I much prefer brining. I’ve tried both ways and find brining gives the best crunch.
Of course, I always use good quality jars for my onions and at the moment I LOVE jars from Ball Preserving UK. There’s nothing worse than a cheap jar leaking vinegar all over the cupboards!
A family tradition, these must be eaten at Christmas! I have not included amounts in this recipe as it will vary depending on how many jars you want to make.
- Baby/pickling onions
- Sarson's pickling vinegar
- Table Salt
1. To aid the peeling of the onions, put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Wait for 20 secs, then pour away the hot water and replace with cold. Top and tail the onions and then slip off the outer skin.2. Place the onions in a large bowl and completely cover with a brining solution made from 75g salt to every 1l of water. Weigh down the top of the onions with a plate, to stop them floating and bobbing their tops out of the water. Leave for 24 hours.3. Pour away the brine and wash the onions very well with plenty of cold water. Pot into hot, sterilised jars and fill to the top with vinegar.4. DO NOT OPEN for at least 2 weeks. These babies need time to mature. Best after at least 2 months but they will keep for up to a year.
Check out my Pinterest for more Perfectly Preserved Pickles...!