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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muaythailady's picture
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Lovely recipe. I found it to be a tiny bit acidic but I put in some redcurrant jelly in the last 10 minutes of cooking so it was sweet and delicious!! Only problem was it never made it in to the cupboard for christmas!!

bethocallaghan's picture
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Easy to make - needed to be cooked longer than the recipe said - the first bit took 1hr 15mins.

Seems to be nice - haven't really eaten any yet - first try tonight.

brasero's picture

made this about 5/6 times this summer in our restaurant and it is now on our A la Carte menu ....lovely ...needs the kick of the chilli

janlane's picture

I have made this recipe a number of times, its superb with cold meats and cheese.
I do find that it takes quite a bit longer than the time stated but its worth the effort.

stanners1984's picture
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I made this the other day, and I don't know where it went wrong but this recipe cannot be right! After almost 2 hours of cooking down the onions, I had to sieve sieve off about half a pint of melted butter and oil that just wouldn't reduce! When I added the wine etc, after a further hour and a half I just wanted to go to sleep so I had to thicken it up with cornflour. Tasted pretty nice though.
If I made this again, I wouldn't use any butter, and I'd probably use more like 3kg of onions.

chefto4's picture
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This tasted sensational!

pandora_mary's picture
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Fantastic recipe - the preserve came out really well. Only made a half quantity yesterday, but it is so brilliant we're off to buy more onions to make a full one today! Lovely with everything - especially baguette and soft cheeses.

It worked out well using less butter and a little less vinegar. May wear swimming goggles the next time we tackle the onions however...

parker584's picture

I have never made a preserve before. This recipe was very easy to follow. I did not have any port so I just used the red wine.
I cannot believe that the results were eaten in 3 weeks. With sandwiches, cooked ham, roast pork, sausages. I will be making some more very soon.

margesurtees's picture

This taste's great. I will definitely be making it again and it is so easy to do. It's great in a toasted cheese pannini.

ma03tgz's picture

So easy only draw back i'm in tiers as onions so strong, but taste's wonderful.

cheekyscamp's picture
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This recipe is absolutely superb. It's sweet, rich and tangy, it goes with so many things. I've had it in sandwiches, with charcuterie and cheese, with cheese on toast (spread a layer under the cheese before melting and it's fantastic!) and with grilled meats and sausages. It goes with just about anything.

One little tweak to the recipe is that I only used a small knob of butter and I don't think that it's affected the finished product. I only made half the mixture but I'll definitely be making the full amount next time.

norrisl's picture

I haven't made this recipe as yet, looking forward to it after reading the comments here, but I have had the same problem with a similar recipe, and I think that is was because I over cooked it. The recipe said simmer for 40-50 minutes, at which point pretty much all the liquid will have evaporated, this happened in about 20 (heat too high), and so I reduced the heat and continued to cook it. About 5/10 minutes after that, there seemed to be a lot of oil in the pan that hadn't been there before, when I was finished cooking, I drained it, but still ended up with solidified butter in the bottom of my jar - might not be the reason, but that's what I put mine down to.

lurvlyloz's picture
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i also left out the butter as didnt like the thought it would spoil. very easy to make. did take longer to soften down. only made two jars but very nice :)

tracyeevans's picture
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I made this yesterday and it came out very well! The initial cooking time was more like 2 hours but besides that everything else was as expected. The colour is beautiful, deep purple - more or less the colour of beetroot. I vacuum sealed the jars by processing in a water bath for 10 minutes and this has not affected the colour of the final product or caused it to separate into different layers. The only change that I would like to make for my next batch is to leave out the vinegar - does anyone know if it is essential to this recipe?

farrah's picture

i made this on christmas eve.After reading the comments I left out the butter and only used oil. No solid fat at all. tasted sweet tangy and had a little bite with the chilli. Lovely. also very well received as christams presents.

farrah's picture

I made this using only oil and it was delicious. sweet and tangy and had little bite with the chilli. No problems at all with solid fat. I gave some away in little jars as christmas presents and it was very well received

karend57's picture
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Expensive and rich, but well worth it...

sarahdarah's picture
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I made this marmalade and it's lovely. I left out the butter and i've had no problems with solidifying and it's been in the fridge for 4 days. Will definitely be making this again! Think it will be lovely with crusty bread and warm brie.

mrs_pink's picture

I made this for presents and had the solidifying fat issue too. Disappointing as it was so yummy before that happened. I thought i had done something wrong so am releived to hear others have had the same problem.

I am going to remake it but ditch the butter rather than the oil I think.

leea74's picture

Really dismayed to open the fridge door today to find the marmalade made just yesterday is threaded right the way through with solidified fat. Looks really unappealing. I'm in two minds whether to give this as Christmas presents as planned as I'm guessing that the fat will just coagulate again if I follow Barneys tip given above.

Am trying a second batch using just butter and no oil. Hopefully this will work better but would not have tried this recipe if I'd known this was going to happen. Bit of a waste of food and my time. Not happy.

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