As a vegetarian, I eat a very varied diet. Not only is that a good thing, ensuring I get all the nutrients needed, but it also makes me happy. I couldn’t eat the same thing every day. But having a few preserves on hand to brighten up a sandwich, pop into a tart recipe, or add to other dishes, really does make a lot of difference in the flavour department.
As I work from home most of the time, that means I eat from home most of the time. So I like to have a fridge full of ingredients that I can whip up fast into something tasty for lunch, without having to drive into town to pick things up.
This Red Onion Marmalade is up there with the best preserves I’ve made, sweet sticky and perfect with a ploughman’s lunch, a slice of quiche or topped on crisp bread.
Red Onion Marmalade
Makes 4-5 x 370g jars
2kg red onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
160g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaf
375ml red wine
450ml red wine vinegar
1. Start by sterilising the jars and their lids in the oven for 15 minutes at 140C/275F/gas mark 1.
2. Very thinly slice the onions.
3. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Tip in the onions and stir to coat in butter. Cook gently for 7-10 minutes.
4. Sprinkle over the sugar, and mix in. Cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and sticky.
5. Pour in the wine, water, vinegar, garlic and thyme and simmer over high heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring every so often to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn.
6. Cook until the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds.
7. The marmalade is ready when you can draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid. If not, bring to a rolling, boil for a further 5 minutes, or until thick.
8. Scoop into sterilised jars and seal.
9. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months unopened. Once opened use within 2 weeks.