‘Blow your socks off’ Christmas Pickled Onions

18 Nov

I have always liked making my own stuff for Christmas (as you may have gathered) and even when I was working full time in the West End of London, I still spent weekends holed up in my kitchen for hours pottering about, cooking, preserving and pickling.  Sad I know (but it didn’t stop me meeting the man of my dreams aged 41!).  Anyhow, one thing I love at Christmas more than any other time, are really strong pickles on Boxing Day with cold turkey, cheese or game pie.  So does everyone in our family so even if you think you have bought enough, you never have!   So, I started making great big jars of them, and then losing the will to live after peeling a couple of pounds of small onions or shallots.  A couple of years ago I thought why not just use very fresh and crispy large onions that you would normally use in cooking.  I peeled about 5 or 6 large ones, and then quartered each one, and then cut the quarter in half.  Some of the outer layers come away, but so what?  They were are roaring success so I made our Christmas ones on Sunday – any pickles really need to be made about 6-8 weeks ahead, but if you do them this weekend, they will be fine for Boxing Day!  Be warned though, using onions does make them very spicy and because you don’t remove any of the chillies from the pickling spice, even more so!

 

You can make whatever quantity you like really so just decide on how many jars you will use – a huge old pickled cucumber one, or a few ordinary pickle jars.  Whatever you decide, for around 2 kgs of onion you will need 25 gms of pickling spice and 1.5 litres of vinegar or maybe a little more.  Malt vinegar is good, but I used cider vinegar this time – it isn’t quite so sharp.  You could try red wine vinegar too.

 

Cut up your onions and put half in the jar, followed by good teaspoon of the pickling spice, top up the jar with more onions and spices and then pour over the vinegar right up to the top and seal with the lids.  You need to store them in a cool dark place for several weeks before eating.  Voila!

 

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