Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cake'n'Bake Wednesday: Sweet Red Onion Relish

This is the recipe for the Sweet Red Onion Relish I served with my Flowerpot Bread at the March 2012 Cake'n'Bake Club meeting. I know this isn't a baking recipe, nor does it have anything to do with flowers (which was the theme for March 2012) but I really wanted to have a go at baking bread that month, and didn't relish the thought of serving plain bread. I'd also decided that I'd quite like to have a go at jam-making/preserving in 2012, so the most sensible solution seemed to be to make some sort of savoury jam to serve with my Flowerpot Bread.

I scoured the net and read various recipes, and then decided to attempt my own sticky-sweet onion relish, based on the knowledge gained in my research. One thing that did stick out was that most of the recipes I found said to leave the relish sealed in a cool dark place for 1 month to mature before serving. I only had 10 days to allow mine to mature... but it tasted yummy all the same. (To be honest, I'd have happily started eating it as soon as it was ready!)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 75-90 minutes
Makes around 650g relish (3 and a bit medium jars)

You will also need 4 medium sized jars

1kg red onions
3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of salt
Pick of black pepper
75g golden brown granulated Sugar
75g soft light brown Sugar
186ml red wine (one of the mini/one person bottles available in supermarkets)
30ml balsamic vinegar
30ml red wine vinegar

  1. Peel, halve and finely chop the onions. Place them in a large saucepan with the onions over a low heat. It's important to keep the temperature low so that the onions go soft and gooey, rather than brown and crispy. Heat the onions for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from burning.
  2. After 15 minutes, add the salt, pepper and both kinds of sugar to the pan and stir until all the sugar has melted. Cook for another 15 minutes, maintaining the low heat.
  3. Once the onions are soft, translucent and sticky, stir in the red wine and both vinegars. Increase the heat slightly and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
  4. Whilst the relish is simmering, sterilise your jars. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, and place a wire rack on the middle shelf. Wash the jars and lids in warm soapy water, then rinse under the hot tap. Place upside down (lids too!) on the wire wrack in the oven to dry whilst your relish cooks. 
  5. Once your relish is ready, remove the jars from the oven being careful not to touch the inside of the jar/lid. Carefully spoon the relish into the jars and place some greaseproof paper over the top. Place the lid on whilst still hot and make sure to seal the jar tightly. Once cooled, leave the relish to mature in a cool dry place until you need it.
  6. Serve with Flower-pot bread and lots of cheese! Yum yum yum!

Happy Thoughts

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