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  • Pickled Onions

    I have some Small Brown onions that I would like to pickle.Is it OK to use Malt Vinegar and do I need to add anything else to it?
    The greatness comes not when things go always good for you,but the greatness comes when you are really tested,when you take,some knocks,some disappointments;because only if youv'e been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.

  • #2
    salt/brine them first (a friend of mine always brined them before peeling, because it reduced the crying effect). 2 or 3 days in a pretty strong salt solution (I'm sure someone will give the official proportions but the 'country rule of thumb' is that if a raw potato will float in it, it is strong enough).
    Once out of the brine (and peeled if you didn't do that first) pack them in suitable jars and add the vinegar. I use pre-spiced pickling vinegar, but you can get away with ordinary malt vinegar if you add pickling spice (you can just put it in the jars like my sister does).
    Remember that metal lids do not get on well with vinegar (line with plastic if no other alternative) and the jars make lovely Christmas presents.
    They are NOT ready to use for at least 10 weeks (a bit more if you just add spices in the jar) but should then be fine to use until next year's batch is ready.
    For future reference you might like to pre-spice your own vinegar, just add pickling spice to ordinary malt vinegar about 2 months before you expect to start pickling.
    Some people boil vinegar and spices to get the flavours combined. I don't like that approach because you lose some of the power of the vinegar, but it seems to work OK for most who do it that way.
    Flowers come in too many colours to see the world in black-and-white.

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    • #3
      Crisp Pickled Honey Shallots

      Ideal recipe if you don't like your onions too tart.

      We like them both sweet and tart so usually end up with two types ready for Xmas.

      (I know this is for shallots but for small onions I'd probably add more honey and increase the time before use from 6 weeks.)

      900g shallots
      50g salt
      700ml malt vinegar
      10g spices (for example peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, chilli, star anise)
      75g honey
      175g granulated sugar

      Peel and trim the shallots. If their skin isn't easily removed, cover in boiling water and try again when they've cooled.

      Place the shallots in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave overnight, and the moisture will be drawn from the onions. Rinse and dry well. Pack into clean, sterilised jars (heat in a low oven for 15mins). Use a wooden spoon handle to push them down.

      Place the vinegar, honey, sugar, spices in a pan. Heat slowly until the sugar and honey are dissolved.

      Pour the vinegar mixture over the shallots, ensuring that the shallots are covered in liquid.

      They'll be ready after 6 weeks.

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      • #4
        sounds awesome! Must make some this week. I have hundreds of onions and shallots this year in a variety of sizes. Last year we only planted 14 plants! Crazy peopl as we love onions This year is great though and I am pickling onions I grew from seed and also shallots. Cant wait.
        We cant get malt vinegar over here so I use a mixture of red wine vinegar and whit wine vinegar with some spices....................mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.ca nt wait!

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        • #5
          Hoping there is an expert pickler online now! I am having my first go at making pickled onions, mixed with cauliflower (my fave pickles).

          Anyhoo, I have soaked the veggies in brine, rinsed big time and drained, I have clean jars and Sarsons ready spiced white pickling vinegar. Question is - do I need to heat the jars before adding the ingredients as with jam? Have made up one jar as I just couldn't wait but will hold out for responses before doing the rest.
          Happy Gardening,
          Shirley

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          • #6
            well I am no expert thats for sure, only did my first ones last week.
            But, I did sterilise the jars in the oven on low for 15 minutes, then added the onions and vinegar and spices, a nice chilli in each. I did NOT heat the vinegar.
            The point of heating the jars and using them hot is to keep them sterile.
            Vive Le Revolution!!!
            'Lets just stick it in, and see what happens?'
            Cigarette FREE since 07-01-09

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            • #7
              Cheers for that. Did put the jars in the oven and heat them but wasn't sure if the pickles should be put into the still hot jars (possibility of cracking) or leave the jars to cool again then use.
              Happy Gardening,
              Shirley

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              • #8
                well they don't get to hot on a low setting, but if you are worried, heat the vinegar a little before you add it, that way there will be less chance of cracking, but mine were ok.
                I turned the oven on to 150 degrees , then put the jars in , by the time it reaches that temp, the jars are done, then just leave them in there to keep warm until you are ready.
                Vive Le Revolution!!!
                'Lets just stick it in, and see what happens?'
                Cigarette FREE since 07-01-09

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                • #9
                  Thanks again, did mine in the microwave (convection setting) to 100 but they still felt a bit too hot to put stuff into. They are now cool enough to handle so I think I will just go with that for now. Not doing such a big batch that the world will end if it goes a bit wrong this time.
                  Happy Gardening,
                  Shirley

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                  • #10
                    well as long as you didn't sneeze all over them, I am sure they will be fine, I bet the first pickler didn't sterilise a thing
                    Vive Le Revolution!!!
                    'Lets just stick it in, and see what happens?'
                    Cigarette FREE since 07-01-09

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                    • #11
                      Reheated the last 5 jars and filled them while they were hot, seemed to go okay. I have put greaseproof paper under the lids as I read somewhere that stops the vinegar from rotting the lid seals. Can't wait to taste them now
                      Happy Gardening,
                      Shirley

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                      • #12
                        Hi - I was a bit impatient when making pickled onions last year and bought Sarsons pickling vinegar - everyone who had some said how nice they were, so have used the same this year ....

                        although trying to recall how my mum used to make them as they were realllllllllllllly tasty and crunchy, would be surprised if she boiled vinegar etc, but do know that she added spices to it.
                        Lass

                        In all things of nature there is something marvellous.
                        - Aristotle

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                        • #13
                          i forgot to sterilise.....................

                          .....................................any of my jars! They were thoroughly washed before and because where I live (Pyrenees France) its impossible to get pickling or malt vinegar so i use a mixture of red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar and some other "bits & pieces" so hopefully that lot will kill any lurking germs. I also forgot to drain the onions after soaking in brine - doh!

                          Any how - i'm sure they will taste - interesting!
                          Last edited by guinness; 04-10-2008, 08:43 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I don't bother sterilising jars for pickling Just put them through the dishwasher, then pack with brined onions, and pour over cold vinegar. Never had any mould issues, not dead yet either Been pickling onions for about 18 years!

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                            • #15
                              I shouldn't worry, I forgot to drain one of my lot as well, at least i can compare the difference, and it's all part of the fun.
                              Vive Le Revolution!!!
                              'Lets just stick it in, and see what happens?'
                              Cigarette FREE since 07-01-09

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