Thursday, 19 April 2012

※ Pickled Onions




INGREDIENTS - 1 FOR THE BRINING SOLUTION
  • 1 to 1½ kg pickling onions – brined for 24 hours, rinsed and dried with paper towel
  • 750 ml to 1 litre spiced vinegar (recipe to follow)
  • ½ to 1 cup of sugar
A ratio of 100g of cooking salt to 1 litre of water should be used. This is sufficient for brining 1 to 1½ kg of onions. Heat the water and salt together until salt is dissolved. Allow to cool before placing peeled onions into the solution.

The onions should be left in the brine for 24 hours, after which they should be drained, rinsed well and patted dry before placing in sterilised jars.



Peeling them was the hardest part, I wore sunglasses.
Must have looked like a crazy lady.

Preparation:  NOTE: Peeling pickling onions is fiddly and time consuming. To speed up the process top and tail the onions, then place the onions in a large heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. 

Leave to cool and hey presto, the skins will just rub away.Do not leave in the water once cool or the onions will start to go mushy.

METHOD
Pack the onions into sterilised jars to within 2 cm of the top of the jar. Pour over the cool spiced vinegar, ensuring that the onions are completely covered. (If the onions tend to float, place a crumpled piece of greaseproof paper in the top of the jar. 

After a few days this can be removed as the onions will have absorbed the vinegar and will then stay submerged).


I kept adding more ingredients to the vinegar. I liked the taste but was lacking something, so then I added chilli, bell peppers and garlic and it took it to a whole new level (as did the lemon) 


Season to taste, just use what herbs and spices you love. The original recipe also had allspice. I left this out as I thought the cinnamon would be enough and I was right.

INGREDIENTS - 2 AROMATIC SPICED VINEGAR


  • 1 litre (1 quart) of white, cider or white wine vinegar
  • 15g coriander seed
  • 15g cardamom pods
  • 15g mustard seeds
  • 1 or 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 whole dried chili
  • 1 teaspoon of dried garlic flakes (you could always use fresh garlic) 
  • 1 teaspoon of dried bell peppers
  • wedge of lemon
  • sugar (optional – adjust the quantity to your own taste) +++

I used a really nice and quite cheap white wine vinegar.
At $2.95 a bottle it has great taste. 

+++ Alternately add 6 teaspoons of honey to the vinegar solution as a sweetener instead of sugar.

METHOD
Bring the vinegar, slice of lemon and spices (and sugar if using) to just below boiling point. 

Cover the pot with a lid, then leave to infuse for three hours at least. Strain through a colander or sieve lined with two thickness of muslin).

Allow the vinegar to cool before pouring over the onions. 

Now, don't forget that you must leave them three to four weeks before eating. This is to allow the vinegar to penetrate the onions thoroughly.

Once opened store in a refrigerator.


I have left them soaking in the brine. I have already made the vinegar I shall bottle them up tomorrow.
Don't leave them soaking in the brine for more than a day if you want them to remain crunchy.

Another photo of them soaking in the brine. The vinegar has turned out quite delicious.
I'm leaving it to brew till tomorrow.

I'll let you know in a month or two how this batch turns out.



Here is a picture I snapped with my phone this morning.
Just needs to sit for a month or two.

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