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Posts Tagged ‘onion marmalade’

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I adore a low key, simple meal.

Patrick popped by for a quick feed on his way to the airport on Saturday. Lunch was pulled from the fridge and pantry – San Daniele prosciutto, Darling Mills olives, fresh ricotta, onion marmalade, mesclun salad, sheep milk pecorino and, because I had just a little time, a small pat of freshly churned butter.  These were served with a loaf of homemade sourdough which I’d defrosted earlier that  morning.

San Daniele prosciutto is, in my opinion, one of the finest things ever to be made from pork. It’s soft, sweet and almost buttery in texture.  Imported from Italy, it costs a fortune, but Johnny at the Cheese Shop always looks after us, because he knows Big Boy is completely addicted to this and won’t  have anything else in his school lunches.  Yes, I know, I’m making a rod for my own back – ask me how many times I’ve been told that – although I prefer to think of it as training a discerning palate.

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To finish off the meal, Pete whipped up a batch of sourdough pancakes, served with his raspberry jam and thick cream.  Patrick was in and out the door in 35 minutes and yet, lunch felt mellow and unrushed.  I even had time to stash four jars of jam in his luggage – let’s hope US customs let them through.  And that he didn’t end up with a bag of sticky clothes…

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Onion Marmalade

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This is the third recipe I’ve tried for onion marmalade, and the first one I’ve been really happy with.   While the others have been too sweet, this one is subtle, with delicious complex flavours that were a perfect complement to last night’s sausages and mash.

The most important thing is the slow, slow cooking of the onions – don’t rush this or the texture and flavour won’t be right.  Also, I’d strongly suggest you prep your onions with the slicer attachment of your food processor, as 2kg is a lot of onions!  Even with the food processor, I shed a few tears – which made me think of the Muppets clip below.

Onion Marmalade

Makes 3 x 300ml jars  (Adapted from Preserves by Pam Corbin)

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2kg onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 200g brown sugar (original recipe used demerara sugar)
  • 150g lilly pilly or quince jelly (original specified redcurrant jelly)
  • 300ml white wine vinegar (original recipe used cider vinegar)
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 rounded tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large heavy pan (I used a large Le Creuset pot) over a medium heat and add the onions.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 40 minutes until the onions are completely wilted and just beginning to colour.

2. Add the sugar and jelly, and increase the heat.  Remove the lid and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes until the mixture turns dark brown and most of the liquid has evaporated.

3. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then add the vinegars (this is important, as adding vinegar to the hot pan will cause it to all steam up and evaporate away).  Return to the heat and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the mixture becomes thick and gooey, and a spoon drawn across the bottom of the pan leaves a clear track across the base for a couple of seconds.

4. Remove from heat and season with the salt and pepper. Spoon into hot sterilised jars and seal with vinegar-proof lids.

Note: the original instructions don’t mention this, but we routinely boil our sealed jars in a hot water bath for ten minutes, ensuring that the lids are covered by at least 2.5cm (1″) of hot water.

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