i had a glut of red onions in the kitchen today, so i decided to make them into a sticky, sweet, sharp jam, which ended up being the perfect addition to lunch. i usually make onion jams by eye, adding the sugar and vinegar haphazardly in quantities unknown. today however i measured and weighed everything to bring you an actual recipe, which is very exciting.
i ended up serving some of the jam piled on to a corn tortilla and topped with some sharp cheddar and thyme, which was a very simple working lunch, but it would also work well served alongside sausages, as part of a cheeseboard or in little tartlets christened with some goats cheese or perhaps some roquefort or gorgonzola. it would also be a great friend to some chicken liver pate. you don’t have to choose how to serve it straight away though; it’ll keep in the fridge for a few weeks or so.
red onion jam (makes enough to fill 1 large or 2 small jam jars)
500g red onions (this was the peeled and sliced weight of the onions)
50g unsalted butter
200g caster or granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
150ml balsamic vinegar
start by slicing the red onions into thin half moons.
then add the butter to a large, deep saucepan and, over a medium heat, wait until it turns a lovely golden, nutty brown colour. at this point, add the red onions and stir to coat with the butter, then add the sugar, salt and pepper.
turn down the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. leave for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. what you should be left with after 1 hour is a mass of onions swimming in a brown, liquidy caramel – don’t worry!
now, add the balsamic vinegar, turn up the heat to medium and leave to bubble away for a further 30 – 45 minutes, without the lid.you will need to keep an eye on the jam during this time to make sure it doesn’t stick. what will start to happen is that the liquid will begin to evaporate, concentrating the flavours of the jam and leaving you with a lovely thick and sticky consistency.
transfer the jam to sterilised jam jars and leave to cool before putting in the fridge to store.