Pickled onions are one of those piquant condiments that are in almost every home, used to complement cold meats, cheese platters, and, of course, on sandwiches. Try making a toasted cheese sandwich with sliced pickled onions – they work perfectly to complement the cheese and creates a delicious combination.
What about a rare roast beef sandwich with mustard and pickled onions? What a match! Just one or two pickled onions alongside your evening meal will take it to a different level. And don’t forget to try that pickling juice in your next vinaigrette.
- 1 kg small pickling onions or larger pearl onions
- tbsp salt
- 3 cups malt vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sliced chillies only if a hot bite is required
To prepare the onions
- To more easily peel the onions: Trim the ends off of each onion and place them in a heat-proof bowl.
- Pour boiling water over them and let them sit for a minute. Then drain, rinse with cold water and remove the peels.
- Place the peeled onions in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and toss to distribute the salt.
- Cover with a towel or loosely with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temp overnight.
- Don’t let them sit longer than 12 hours or the onions will lose their crispness
- Rinse well and drain thoroughly.
To make the brine
- Place all remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil on a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- While the brine is simmering, pack the onions into sterilized mason/Kilner jars.
- Pour the hot brine over the onions and then distribute the spices among the jars.
- Stick a skewer or other long object down the side of the jars to ensure there are no air bubbles.
- Wipe the jar rims down with a clean, damp cloth.
- Place the canning lids on the jars and screw shut while hot to create a vacuum seal.
- Let the onions cool and then place them in a dark place, at room temperature to mature for at least 3-4 weeks before eating, the longer the better as the flavour improves with age.
- Then store them in a cool, dark place where they will keep for up to a year.