Return to the Harvest Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Pickled Onions

Posted by chase z6 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 14:29

Was wondering if anyone has a great recipe for English Style Pickled Onions.

Larger than the cocktail size pickled onions and yypically they are done in a cider or malt vinegar brine. Often served as part of a "Plowman's Lunch"


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pickled Onions

  • Posted by kayskats 7 (usda) 8 (arbor da (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 14:58

I had a recipe that I made for a friend of mine from Nova Scotia about 8 or years ago. Can't find it ... but will look later. Used malt vinegar. She said it was like she remembered.
Have you seen the recipe in The Joy of Pickling pp 132-33??
If you don't have the book, I'll type it in after I pick up the grandkid.
You might also take a look at this one


RE: Pickled Onions

The Joy of Pickling recipe is a refrigerated one, not canned.

I got these two off's FAQ a long time ago. They're refrigerated also; if you want the real crunch that would be the way to go.

The other option for a canned pickled onion would be the NCHFP pickled onion recipe using a 5% malt vinegar and the spices you wish. The problem I have with that is it's hot-packed and that kills it for me.

Pickled Onions I

This recipe calls for a sweet mixture that has honey added as the sweetener. The onions must be allowed to stand in the vinegar for at least 1 month before using. The honey adds a great crunch to the onions.

As many small onions as you can be bothered peeling
2 litres of malt vinegar
1 tblspns whole cloves
1 tblspn whole peppercorns
1 tblspn blade mace
1 tblspn of whole allspice
1 tblspn salt
As much honey as will make the mixture sweet to the taste

Bring the mixture to the boil and allow to cool before pouring the spiced vinegar over the onions.

Pickled Onions II

The secret is to use honey instead of sugar, it makes the onions very crisp.

1kg (2lb) tiny pickling onions peeled (drop them into hot water for a couple of minutes, it will help to get the skins off)
1/3rd cup of salt
1 tspn salt
4 cups of malt vinegar (or use white wine vinegar if you want a milder flavour, you can, if you wish to cut back the vinegar flavour even more, use 1/4 water to replace 1/4 of the vinegar)
3/4 cup of honey
1 tblspn of pickling spice (cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick, mace, peppercorns)
chilli (optional)

Soak the peeled onions in fresh water with the 1/3 cup of salt for 48 hours. Remove and drain well.

Bring the vinegar to the boil, add the honey, salt, spices and chilli, taste to see if you have made it sweet enough, add more honey if not. Allow to cool.

Place the well dried onions in a jar and cover with the cooled mixture. Place a top on and leave for 2 weeks in refrigerator.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Pickled Onions

RE: Pickled Onions

Be sure that the vinegar used is at least 5% strength.

RE: Pickled Onions

  • Posted by kayskats 7 (usda) 8 (arbor da (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 17:13

Here's the Joy of Pickling Recipe
as you'll note she includes instructions for processing; although I do not think they'd be as good.

From Linda Ziedrich's "The Joy of Pickling."

This pickle is made the traditional way, with a short brining to
keep the onions crisp, and with cool rather than hot vinegar. If
you'd like to can the onions, though, use two one-pint or four half-
pint Mason jars instead of a quart jar, and pour the spiced vinegar
over the onions while the vinegar is hot. Seal the jars immediately
with hot two-piece caps, and process the jars for 10 minutes in a
boiling-water bath. Sharp-tasting, brown malt vinegar is available
at some supermarkets. If you can't find it, or if you'd like a
milder pickle, use white wine vinegar.

1/2 cup pickling salt
2 quarts water
1 1/2 lbs. very small onions or shallots
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups malt vinegar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1 bay leaf, crumbled

Makes 1 Quart
1. In a bowl, dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water. Add the
onions. Weight them gently with a plate that fits inside the bowl.
Let them stand 8 to 12 hours.

2. Drain the onions, and peel them. Return them to the bowl. Make a
brine with the remaining salt and water, pour it over the onions,
and weight them gently again. Let them stand 2 days.
3. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil.
Let the liquid cool.
4. Drain and rinse the onions, and drain them well again. In a 1-
quart jar, layer the onions, peppercorns, allspice, pepper flakes,
and bay leaf. Cover them with the cooled, sweetened vinegar. Cover
the jar with a nonreactive cap, preferably all plastic.
5. Refrigerate the jar for at least 1 month before eating the
onions. They will keep for at least 6 months.

RE: Pickled Onions, follow up

  • Posted by kayskats 7 (usda) 8 (arbor da (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 17:18

The more I think of it ... this is the recipe I used -- I had forgotten that a friend had Ziedrich's book and I bought my copy later.

RE: Pickled Onions

You're right. I missed the canning instructions in the opening.

Guess that shows how used I am to heading straight for the bottom of the recipe.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Harvest Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here