For this month’s Can Jam, Ashley over at Small Measure chose the Allium family. Yum! What’s not to love with this tasty group!? We have leeks, onions, garlic, shallots, ramps, chives and green onions. Tasty!
Finding a recipe that I wanted to use was a big more difficult than I imagined. I was envisioning a savory onion/garlic marmalade of sorts. However the only recipes I found included a lot of sugar, cranberries and juice. Too sweet. Onions are a low-acid food and therefore demand extra care when hot water bath canning. You should use a recipe from a trusted source because of the risk of botulism. Like I said last month with the also low-acid carrots- no one needs to die for a relish. I didn’t feel comfortable altering the variables enough to make the recipe sound good to me so I gave that up. Next I thought of the legendary Skillet Street Food Bacon Jam used on their burgers and thought of making an Onion-Bacon Jam but found nothing at all that led me to believe I could safely hot water bath can that.
Next up? Since I already had tasty burgers on the brain, I decided on Caramelized Red Onion Relish and made a few changes. I also doubled it because I knew 1 pint would not be enough.
Caramelized Red Onion Relish (adapted from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving)
*note: my adaptations are in (bold)
- 2 large red onions, peeled (4 large)
- 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 c. dry red wine (2 cups Merlot)
- 3 T. balsamic vinegar (7 Tbsp.)
- 1/8 t. each salt and freshly ground black pepper (1/4+ tsp. each- to taste)
- 1 small head of garlic, thinly sliced
- sprigs of fresh rosemary & lots of black peppercorns, tied up in cheesecloth
- Slice onions & garlic into very thin slices. Combine onions, garlic and sugar in a heavy skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.
- Stir in wine and vinegar. At this step I added the rosemary & peppercorns (wrapped in cheesecloth) for more flavor. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Add lids and rings, then place in boiling bath.
- Process 10 minutes for half pint jars in boiling water bath. I got four 1/2 pints.
I just made a meat order with Thundering Hooves (pasture finished meat located Walla Walla Valley, Washington). They have the best ground beef I have ever had. I pick it up my order this week and can’t wait to make some burgers and top it off with the new pantry addition.
I don’t know yet if the rosemary or garlic flavors came through or not. I’ll let it is mellow for a few weeks and then decide. In the meantime, does anyone have a Bacon-Onion Jam recipe safe for hot water bath canned?
And, I leave you with a little (pathetic) Allium Haiku for no reason at all other than it is late.
Leeks? Garlic? Shallots?
Best not forget vinegar!
Alliums love acid.