Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Red Onion Marmalade

On the subject of marmalades, this is my shot at the fashionable idea of an onion accompaniment. It works well with cheese, and meat, as you might expect. I am not entirely happy with it, though. I have been aiming at a recipe that sets, in the same way that orange marmalade sets. Haven't achieved that yet, however. Consider this a tasty step on the road, and watch this space!


Preserving pan
Garlic press
Stirring spoon
4 x 500ml jam jars and lids, sterile
Preserve funnel, sterile
Ladle, sterile.
Cooker, 1 fast ring.


2kg Red Onions
8 cloves of garlic
150g butter
50ml olive oil
300g sugar*
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
500ml red wine (2/3 bottle, to you!)
350ml red wine vinegar

*I used jam sugar, hoping the added pectin would help all solidify on cooling. It didn't, though.

Method. (makes around 2 litres)

It's mainly about boiling all in your preserving pan, and so should suit cooks of all degrees of skill.

Chop your red onions. The smaller you slice them, the finer the marmalade result. I quite like a 1cm square 'peasant' texture, but if you want something more refined, put the work in here. Next, dry fry the mustard and celery seeds on a high heat, and then drop in the butter and olive oil. When all is liquid, add your onions and garlic. Add the chilli powder, and sugar, and stir the mixture up, cooking all the while, until the onions are nicely coated and glistening with the butter/olive oil mixture.

Next. Turn the heat down, and just let simmer for around 45 mins. The idea is to get soft, squashy onions. Test, every so often. When your onions break under pressure from a wooden spoon against the side of your preserving pan, you are ready for the next stage.

Next. Add the wine, and wine vinegar. Simmer for half an hour, or until the mixture has reduced by around a third, and the liquid has been driven off. It should all turn into a deep, rich, burgundy colour during this time. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Then, ladle into sterile jars, and seal.

Best wishes, 2ndRateMind.

PS. An update is in order. After 2 days in a cool larder, this marmalade has achieved the texture and consistency of, well, marmalade. As Confucious say, 'Success comes to he who waits...'

PPS. This works well with cheese on toast. Grill one side of your bread, turn over, spead the ungrilled side with onion marmalade, and grate cheese over the top. Grill until done. Deeeelicious.

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