Pickled Onions

Had some small onions/shallots in the pantry from before Xmas that needed pickling.


  • Shallots or small onions
  • Salt
  • Pickling Vinegar
  • Pickle spices and/or a couple of fresh chillies


  • Top and tail your onions with a sharp stainless steel knife, that is, cut off the root and stalk ends of the onions
  • Peel off any dry or soft onion skin layers until you have a firm clean peeled onion and toss in a bowl
  • Once all peeled sprinkle liberally with table salt and set aside in a cool place for a few hours or preferably overnight, alternatively boil water and salt to make a brine and allow to cool then add onions (only when completly cool)
  • Pour off any onion liquor from time to time and add more salt, this process draws moisture out of the onions and gives a nice crisp onion when pickled, the more salt and time you give them the better the result
  • Wash and then sterilise your pickle jars in boiling water and allow to dry (I put them on the back of the Aga)
  • Wash onions in clean cold water and then dry with a clean tea towel
  • Fill jars with onions and then top up with cold pickling vinegar, make sure you cover all the onions but the vinegar should not be in direct contact with metal lids
  • Seal with airtight lids and leave for at least a week or two before sampling your pickles
  • For extra flavour try throwing in a chilli pepper or pickling spices with the onions

About cwildman

Local Food Evangelist, 5th Generation Butcher based in the Yorkshire Dales, England. Town End Farm Shop, Artisan Butchery & Charcuterie, Home of The Yorkshire Chorizo.
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