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Pickled Onions

If you want a few jars of pickled onions to get you through the winter, now is the time to get pickling.

Shallots are smaller than onions and have a p articularly papery skin. They taste slightly milder than most onions and are ideal for any savoury dish calling for an onion. But it is only when they are pickled that they really come into their own.

When processed properly, these crisp , crunchy little treasures transform a plate of cold meat into a feast. They are great with chunks of cheese and crispy bread , too.

You will need :

2lb 2oz (1kg) shallots
4oz (125g) salt
1 ¾ pints (1 ltr) water
1 pt (600ml spiced vinegar or 1pt (600ml) white wine vinegar
And a small pack of mixed pickling spices.


If you wish to spice your own vinegar the easiest way of doing this is to pick up a packet of mixed pickling spices and boil them with the vinegar for 15 minutes according to the instructions on the label, then strain and discard the spices.

Using a stainless steel knife to prevent the shallots darkening when you cut them , prepare the shallots by removing the outer skin and the root.

Prepare the brine by mixing water and salt together in a large bowl.

Place the peeled and trimmed shallots into the brine, cover with a lid or plate and leave for 24 hours.

Drain the shallots and rinse thoroughly in cold water, to remove the salt, then drain again, patting with kitchen paper to obtain a reasonably dry finish.

Pack the shallots into a cold sterilised jar and top up each jar with cold strained spice vinegar and seal.

Leave the shallots to mature in a cool dark place – then enjoy.

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