Easy and Traditional British Pub Style Pickled Onions

"I have been making these for years and years now, and I always like to have a jar handy in the pantry. They are great to munch on with cold meats, cheeses, bread and crackers, as well as being a much loved and traditional accompaniment to Ploughman's Lunch and also Fish and Chips. You will often see large jars of pickled onions in British fish and chip shops, AND on the bar in British pubs! If you start these in October, they will be ready to eat by Christmas and New year - making them an ideal addition for your cold buffet table and cheese boards. Please note, this is an easy and therefore a NON BRINING method; they will last for about 6 to 9 months in ideal conditions, a cool and dark pantry or store cupboard. If you wish to make these in bulk to last a couple of years, you need to brine the onions first; I have added brining notes at the end of the recipe instructions. I hope you will enjoy these as much as we do!"
 
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photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
photo by Derf2440 photo by Derf2440
Ready In:
1080hrs 15mins
Ingredients:
3
Yields:
1 Large Jar Pickled Onions
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ingredients

  • 2 lbs pickling onions, peeled
  • 1 12 pints malt vinegar or 1 1/2 pints pickling vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ready-mixed pickling spices (OR 2 tablespoons of your your own mix using -- green, white and black peppercorns, coriander seeds,)
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directions

  • Peel the onions and pack one third of them tightly into a large Kilner jar or preserves jar. (You can also use several smaller jars if you wish.).
  • Scatter one third of the pickling spices over the top of the first layer of onions and continue packing the onions in to the jar - adding two more layers of pickling spices as you go.
  • Pour the malt vinegar into the jar, making sure that all the onions are covered by the vinegar.
  • Add some extra vinegar if there is not quite enough.
  • Seal the jar and store in a dark, cool place for at least 6 weeks before using the pickled onions.
  • Brining Notes:

  • You need to begin 2 days ahead by placing the onions in a large non-metallic bowl. Then mix 2 pints of water with 4 ozs of salt together, pour this over the onions and leave them covered with a cloth for 2 days.
  • Drain the onions and dry them well, continue as above. These onions will last for up to 2 years + in ideal conditions - a dark and cool pantry or store room.

Questions & Replies

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  1. moremoet
    Do I peel the onions prior to the brining process?
     
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Reviews

  1. Potatoes Browning
    These sounded awesome and easy. I had to try making them. I used my little teeny walking onions for this. Boy, do they suck up the vinegar. Loved the way the Catawissa onions felt after brining-like an olive. I'll add to the review after I get to taste them. I think they'll ba a hit on the buffet tray. Thanks Ms. Tart for another great recipe.
     
  2. Derf2440
    mmm can hardly wait, these look wonderful!! I went the brining route, but didn't get them bottled for 3 days. I used bought pickling spices and used 3 small jars. These were so easy, except for peeling them :cry: but I wish I had bought more onions!! Again I will be back around the end of October.
     
  3. Chef Shadows
    Just found this recipe! I will be making these real soon and post my review when finished. I have been looking for a recipe like this for years... guess what FT had it ! Edited 08/09/08: I can't believe I did not come back here and finish my review! Tasty, wonderful, and great! The 3 jars I have stored will bring pleasure for some months!
     
  4. Karen Elizabeth
    My very first attempt... so far, so good :D. I never did find pickling spices, so I searched books for inspiration, and finally used, as per FTs suggestion, some black and green peppercorns, some mustard seeds (courtesy Prue Leiths Bible), and a cinnamon stick... would have used mace leaves but only had ground mace, thought ground spices were probably what NOT to use! So.. the proof of the pudding is in the eating, which will only be around end of October or later, but I think I'm going to be getting into this, there was a great sense of satisfaction! I've stored them in the back of the pantry for the meantime.
     
  5. Lets Eat
    Easy and good! I left mine for about a month before eating and they are very tasty! A real taste of home. Thanks!
     
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<p><strong><span>The sunflowers in the field behind my house in SW France:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Sunflowers src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/DSCN8221.jpg alt=Sunflowers width=640 height=480 /><br /><strong><span><br /><br />I am British (English-Scottish), but I was born in South Africa and have lived all over the world, including Hong Kong, Germany, Cyprus, USA &amp; Singapore. I have also been very fortunate to have travelled extensively over the years.........I still have wanderlust! <br /><br />I used to be an English Literature &amp; Art History teacher &amp; lecturer; before that, I trained and worked as a Graphic Designer for many years. I now live in France with my husband &amp; my daughter who has just started university in September 2006. We also have one very chatty Burmese cat Willow, who allows us to live with her here! (I used to have three cats, I recently lost Monty, a beautiful seal point Siamese and before that, Rama, who was a debonair blue point Siamese cat - I would love to have another Siamese cat or cats in the future!)</span></strong></p> <p><em><strong><span>This is my Burmese Cat, Willow, sunning herself on the log pile in the kitchen garden:</span></strong></em></p> <p><strong><img title=My src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/ABaconButtyandSundryFoodPhotos34.jpg alt=My width=640 height=480 /></strong></p> <p><strong><span>Here is my lovely Monty, a seal point Siamese, and Willow, sitting&nbsp;in the kitchen garden last year, and a few months before Monty died; he was 18yrs old:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Monty src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/AbsolutelySinfulStickyToffeePudding.jpg alt=Monty width=640 height=480 />My</p> <p><strong><span>This is my wonderful old boy, Rama, a blue-point Siamese, who died when he was 20yrs old - excuse the old and much sellotaped photo:</span></strong></p> <p><img title=Rama src=http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r271/copperhorse58/Rama1stOctober2004164.jpg alt=Rama width=517 height=639 /></p> <p><strong><span>My favourite pastimes are: reading, writing, painting &amp; drawing, photography, gardening, anything creative, walking, travelling, dining out and of course COOKING! 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