Red onion marmalade

Red onion marmalade

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(78 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Ready in 2¼ hours, plus cooling time

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Fills about four 500ml jars

Soft, sticky onion marmalade - great with pâtés and terrrines or a ploughman's lunch

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
-
protein
-
carbs
-
fat
-
saturates
-
fibre
-
sugar
-
salt
-

Ingredients

  • 2kg red onions or regular onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 140g butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaf
  • pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 75cl bottle red wine
  • 350ml sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 200ml port

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Method

  1. Halve and thinly slice the onions, then thinly slice the garlic. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Tip in the onions and garlic and give them a good stir so they are glossed with butter. Sprinkle over the sugar, thyme leaves, chilli flakes if using and some salt and pepper. Give everything another really good stir and reduce the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions are ready when all their juices have evaporated, they’re really soft and sticky and smell of sugar caramelising. They should be so soft that they break when pressed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. Slow cooking is the secret of really soft and sticky onions, so don't rush this part.
  2. Pour in the wine, vinegar and port and simmer everything, still uncovered, over a high heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring every so often until the onions are a deep mahogany colour and the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds. It’s done when drawing a spoon across the bottom of the pan clears a path that fills rapidly with syrupy juice. Leave the onions to cool in the pan, then scoop into sterilised jars and seal. Can be eaten straight away, but keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2003

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Comments

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fuengi's picture
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Have just made this marmalade. I really like the look of it and although it did take a lot longer to cook than stated, it tasted grand!! I shall give an update tomorrow as the proof of the pudding is in the eating!! Am cooking a 4 course meal tomorrow and for the first course I am serving the marmalade with my chix liver pate. I am soo excited!!! I wish I could post a piccie because I have great designs for this meal and would to share!! Thanks for the recipe!

kins65's picture

I have made this receipe several times and it's never had the opportunity to solidfy in the fridge as it's eaten too quickly.
Very tasty recipe - one of my favourites.

clairemc28's picture
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I finished making this last night, it took hours - at each stage. I have tasted the finished result and it is very acidic, too strong to eat! I didn't have any port so added a splash of sherry and I put less vinegar in so not sure how I have this taste to it.
Does anyone have any ideas how I can save it? I've made 4 jars that I was going to put in hampers for christmas presents. Would be such a shame to waste it after half a day spent making it!
Please help!

notgingerclare's picture

I've just finished making a half batch of this. I left the butter out after reading the comments on here but followed everything else to the letter. It did seem to take a lot longer than the recipe says, it took about 1hr 30 mins for the first stage and then more like 50 mins for the second stage. It smells a bit vinegary so I might use less in the second batch.

katejf's picture

I'm reading all these comments whilst in the midst of making this! Luckily I forgot the oil so hopefully won't get the solidifying problems - I've tasted it and so far so good :) One thing though, it is taking far longer to reduce than anticipated according to the recipe's guidelines... Having this later with home made chicken liver pate, yum! Thanks for the recipe.

nefetiti's picture
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Forgot to mention for Kentyswife I mixed red onions with sweet white onions, doesn't impair the flavour. Everyone's right about it being time consuming but well worth it, invest in a food processor or a mandolin.

nefetiti's picture
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Year three of producing this, Just made probably the best batch of this recipe so far, and realised why some people have too much liquid. It may be people are mistaking measuring centilitres (cl) for the port and sherry vinegar instead of millilitres (ml) as I discovered I did. This could be why some people complained of too much vinegar. I used 50g more sugar mixing castor and muscovado sugar. I also cut a scotch bonnet pepper into tiny bits instead of the chilli flakes, just the right slight kick to it. The only frustrating thing is it only amounted to five 227g (8oz) bottles. Will do it all again tomorrow.

vonnie's picture
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I made this today and the timings etc were spot on. I left out the butter, as per the suggestions, and the finished result was still lovely. However, my finished marmalade filled only 2x 500ml kilner jars, and not 4 as I had been expecting. Absolutely delicious though.

sallyrayner's picture
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have just made this - still waiting for it to cool - what a long winded process - and it took something like 4 hours from being to end - next time I will not use butter or oil - there was far too much liquid at this stage of the process - I believe both ingredients are unnecessary - I thought these receipes are suppose to be tested - more than once - this is not the first time I have used a good food receipe and found it wanting - try testing them in a real kitchen with real people.

d41d0y's picture
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Going to have this with pork fillet tomorrow.
Easy to make, just remember to stir enough in the reducing phase so you don't get burnt pans like I did!

charlottetravis's picture

Hi guys,
I made this as Christmas presents for the family and had the same butter issue... all 3 of the 350ml jars I got out of it had a solidified butter "topping"once they had cooled on the side (not even in the fridge). I tried stirring it in as suggested but the consistency was completely different then.
I am going to make another batch with just oil as you all seem to suggest so fingers crossed!

jennymccallum's picture

Really really nice and rich, however it took me much longer to get it to the states described for each stage - about 4 hours in total (which included chopping up the onions!) The other problem was that when it came to putting them into the jars, the recipe only filled 4 x 250ml jars instead of 500ml as stated! Rather disappointing given the time I invested in making it, but will find time to make another batch for Xmas presents! Have found that the butter's solidified on the one I put in the fridge too, but it was fine one I'd given it a good mix through.

chris-mellor's picture

On with my second batch. This is good stuff.

I use the butter and some fresh tyme from garden. Also a good wack of chilli - cos I like it:)

The cooking times are always longer - I think it maybe better to do it a lot slower and get a more rounded flavour?

One prolem I have though is cutting all the onions - the only thing I've found helps with the sore eyes is the port;) Guess where that ends up:*)

kentyswife's picture
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Hi all, have got all the ingreadiants minus the butter and olive oil have brought the sherry vinegar , hope this will add to the taste! looking forward to the out come but i am going to cheat with the chopping of the onions and use the food processor to blizt up the onions as ive just made an onion soup and dont think my eyes will take much more tonight! Will let you all know how its goes! x

janperry's picture
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I made this yesterday and am surprised it made it into the jars - absolutely delicious! It does take slightly longer than stated. When I judged the onions to be cooked enough there was still alot of liquid so I ladled off nearly a mug full (and used it for gravy - fab!) and then proceeded to add the wines and vinegar. It then took about another 40 minutes. I did use butter because no good ever came from leaving it out from any recipe!! I will definately be making a second batch when I've stocked up on onions and it is certainly good enough to make a lovely Christmas present.

kentyswife's picture
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Hi All, have just been asked by my mum to make her an onion marmalade for christmas, have already made pumpkin , apricot and almound chutney and a spiced plum chutney for presanmts for the rest of the family and came across this one. I just want to know has any one mixed red and whit onions together if so how did it turn out? Looking forward to making this , i really want to set a buisness making my own chutneys, jam, jellies and preserves, thinking of calling it " charlies chutneys and more" lol. happy cooking to all. x

mrsted's picture
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Great recipe. I too left the butter out and have made 2 batches all of which turned out fine. Got lots of orders to make more!!!! Will make great christmas present along with the classic apple chutney chees and biscuits.

helensuz's picture
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This is absolutely delicious and soo easy to make. After reading previous reviews I left out the butter. It was delicious, tasty and looks lovely and glossy. I also left out the chilli flakes, but will add them next time I make this... which will be before Christmas for gifts.

ybeven's picture
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Made this yesterday and should have read all the comments first! I eventally decided to skim off all the butter while it was still cooking and removed some of the liquid. The end result tastes superb but next time I will not use any butter. I used the skimed off butter and juices to cook chicken, it tasted lovely

moleytoes's picture

You can make onion marmalade with no butter or oil, simply place all the ingredients into a large jam pan and simmer until reduced, thick and syrupy, about 2-3 hours.
Sterilise jars with boiling water, dry in a warm oven with the door open and spoon in the marmalade. Cover the top with a wax disc or cling film to stop the vinegar or wine ruining the lid and store in a dry darkish place for up to 6 months.
No fat, no fridge space, no hassle!!!

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