Whenever we have ‘Bangers & Mash’ for tea I chop up a few onions and caramelise them as they’re a really great accompaniment. I recently spotted a recipe for Onion Marmalade though in my River Cottage Handbook No.2 – Preserves and this has changed the way we eat ‘Bangers & Mash’ for good.
It’s a really simple recipe and doesn’t take too long to make. If you’re a contact lens wearer then chopping up 2kg of onions shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re not, you’re going to get rather teary – I started off without my lenses in and couldn’t get past the first onion, so I had to resort to putting my lenses in as this always stops the tears when I chop onions – not sure if that’s just me though.
Anyway – you will need…
100ml Olive Oil
2kg Onions, peeled and finely chopped
200g Demerara Sugar
150g Redcurrent Jelly
300ml Cider Vinegar
50ml Balsamic Vinegar
1 rounded teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper
First off you need to sterilise some jars – the recipe states it make 5 x 225g jars, but I had to guess and I was recycling jars and I’d already removed the labels and had no idea of the volume – I ended up making 3 large jars of marmalade.
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and then add the onions. Reduce the heat so as not to burn them and cover the pan and cook for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to colour – it helps if you have a glass lid as you don’t have to keep lifting the lid and losing moisture to check what’s happening.
Next add the sugar and redcurrant jelly. Increase the heat a little, remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring more frequently for another 30 minutes or so until the mixture turns a dark nutty brown and most of the moisture has boiled away.
Then take it off the heat and allow t to cool for a few minutes as the next step is to add the vinegar and you don’t want to add that to a hot pan as it will evaporate immediately. Once you’ve added the vinegar, return the pan to the heat and cook rapidly for 10 minutes. You’re aiming for a gooey mixture that leaves a clear track across the pan base when you pull a spoon across it.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Then spoon into your jars and seal with the lids straight away (they need to be vinegar proof lids) and consume within 12 months.