Country Matters Hexton

News from Country Matters Hexton, a shop in Hertfordshire

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Pickled Onions ~ Recipe


Autumn is upon us and the pickle season has started.  This week in Country Matters Hexton we have onions for pickling form not far away in Soham, Cambridgeshire.

There are very few ingredients needed for making pickled onions - but you can enhance the flavours by adding some additional ingredients to the vinegar.  My nanna used to make them every year for Christmas and put chillis in them, and leave them in.  I remember when you visited around Easter time and she still had an unopened jar they would blow your head off - well I was only young.

You can take out the spices or leave in, the main thing to do is leave them at least 1 month for the onions to take on the pickle taste.

There is a nice simple recipe on the BBC Good food page here

500g small shallot
50g salt
500ml malt vinegar
200g clear honey

Place the onions in a large heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave to cool. Once cool, trim roots and tops and peel. Sprinkle the salt over the peeled onions, stir and leave overnight.

Next day rinse the onions well and dry with kitchen towel. Place the vinegar and honey into a large pan and gently heat just to dissolve the honey into the vinegar, but do not boil.

Pack the onions into clean, sterilized jars. Pour over the hot vinegar mixture to fill the jars, and check there are no air pockets. Seal the jars and leave to cool. The onions will be ready to eat after about 1 month or better if kept for 2. Once opened store in the fridge.

you can add to the vinegar any of the following
yellow mustard seeds 1 tsp
mixed peppercorns 1 tsp
dried chilli flakes 1 tsp

You can choose cider vinegar - especially if you want a gluten free jar.

To sterilise jars put in a dishwasher if you have one, and then put in the oven on a low heat, whilst preparing the vinegar.  I always stand my pickles and preserve empty jar on a tray with a lip, that way if I make any spills it is contained within the tray, and easily washed.

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