Monday, April 4, 2011

Onion Jam - The Bomb!

Onion Jam
Sometimes life just swamps you. Last week's Online (Bake) Sale for Japan was a 'spur of the moment' idea that gathered steam and became really great. Then I've got final details going on for SactoMoFo - the Sacramento Mobile Food Festival for which I'm one of the organizers. Busy, busy, busy. Yet there's also the need to keep things interesting on the blog and not let it be neglected. 

Thus the boring picture above. In a perfect world I would have a picture of a lovely pork loin with the jam on top. Or perhaps a delightful onion potato tart or a scrumptious panini featuring the jam. All of these are great things to use the onion jam on. It's very versatile. But I haven't had the time to do any of those great ideas and have been sitting on this onion jam post for weeks. I had to just shrug my shoulders and go with the simple picture.

When Paul made the onion jam last year at our canning party it pretty much fumigated my small house. I think it was about 20 pounds of onions that he sliced up that day. Talk about crying eyes. Here is Star coming out of my bedroom saying, "What is going on out here? My eyes sting!" 


All that slaving at the stove that day and he only got about 6 quarts of onion jam. We each got one and it was like gold in a jar. We had a rather crude nickname for the stuff that day that we shortened down to code - FF Onion Jam. It's also been recently renamed as Tourettes jam among my foodie friends. Whatever you call it, it's damn good. 

It's not that difficult to make and would be an excellent gift for the holidays. But you might not want to part with it. This batch was my first time making it and I had about 5 pounds of onions and ended up with 3 pint jars. Honestly, I don't feel like sharing! 

And this time I took a tip from the internet sliced my onions near open flames. I lit a couple of candles and turned my stove burners. Supposedly flames burn off the sulphuric compound released from the onion. It worked for me.

You start with a full pan and it becomes...
Onion Jam

     
    1 kg onion, red or yellow, peeled & cut in half & sliced thinly
    100 ml olive oil
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    2 bay leaves
    2 rosemary sprigs
    150 g soft brown sugar
    75 ml dry white wine
    75 ml red wine vinegar
    25 ml balsamic vinegar
     
     


reduced down to this.

  1. In a heavy frying pan, heat up the olive oil and add the finely sliced onions - toss around to make sure they all have a coating of oil.

  2. Cover & cook over a gentle heat until they start to colour.

  3. Add the salt, pepper, bay leaves & rosemary sprigs & cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes, until the herbs have wilted.

  4. Take off the lid and add the sugar, wine & vinegars.

  5. Bring them to the boil and keep stirring al the time; then lower the heat & simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid is all dissolved and the onions are soft & sticky.

  6. You will need to be very vigilant towards the end of the cooking - stirring all the time so the onions do not stick and become burnt and scorched.

  7. Pick out the rosemary & bay leaves and spoon the confit into a clean, dry & sterilised jar & seal straight away.



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