Thursday, March 18, 2010

Caramelized Red Onion Relish

Tigress Can Jam Challenge #3

I’m kind of on the hind end on submitting this month’s Can Jam Challenge.

Onions? Really? Alliums?

I wasn’t really enthused about this month’s canning choice, actually. I know most alliums are low-acid root vegetables, so my options were pretty much limited for a boiling water bath. I knew I could either make a relish, pickle, or some sort of savory jelly/jam, so I decided to go with what I know instead of trying something new.

I know; I’m such a party-pooper!

I’ve been making this relish for years and I guard it as much as I do with my Pickled Asparagus. It makes a small amount and requires A LOT of onions, but when it is piled on a grilled hot dog with ketchup, mustard, and homemade sauerkraut, it’s almost a holy experience. I have also found that it’s great as an appetizer with cheese, crackers, and other yummy nibblers like olives or salami.

Appetizer tray with caramelized onion relish
My notes from past batches mention to watch the original sugar amount because I found ¼ cup of brown sugar was too sweet (I like it a bit more savory-tangy). I’ve also found that doubling the original recipe yields 4 ½ pints, which makes it much more worth the effort.

Caramelized Onion Relish
Recipe Source: “Small Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp
Makes 2 cups

2 large, red onions, peeled and sliced very thin (I use a mandolin)
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine onions and sugar in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Cook, uncovered on med-high heat for about 25 minutes, or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.

Stir in wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into prepared jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


cowladydeland said...

I can testify that the caramel onion relish is almost a holy experience ! Yummmm-oh !

Love your new photo = Hey good lookin !

Mimi said...

This sound yummy!


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