Onion Marmalade: Sweet, Savory, Sticky.November 18, 2008
But folks, this ain’t no Smucker’s marmalade. No, it isn’t that orange, jewel-toned jelly from a jar. You can’t just spread it on toast, chomp it down and forget about it. No, this marmalade makes an impression. Better still, it makes your dinner (or lunch, or maybe even breakfast).
I don’t mean to imply that it will actually cook your meals for you. But it will elevate them to seldom-seen levels of awesomeness.
This is onion marmalade. It is a rich deep brown, reflecting its roots of caramelized onions, revealing its brown-sugary rich but not burnt flavor, suggesting the hint of bite from its balsamic vinegar reduction. It’s really, really, really (three reallys) good.
Now, you could just eat it by the spoonful, but that wouldn’t unleash its full potential. In the coming days, the hubby will reveal just a few of the ways you can harness its awesome deliciousness. It’s totally worth the time and effort to make it — and, bonus, it will make your house smell like you’re making the meal of a lifetime. Did I mention that it is good? Enjoy!
And now, the husband’s take…
I’ve many people in my life who tell me they don’t like onions. I sort of look at them and think, “You eat right?” And in my head, I’m listing all the foods that most people eat that have onions, but they don’t appreciate.
But, onion marmalade is the exact opposite. I’m told originally it was a staple of French Bistro cuisine in the ‘50’s. It’s an in-your face challenge to onion haters. The onions are browned and then hit with the acidity of wine and balsamic vinegar along with the sweetness of quite a bit of sugar.
The result is an awesome condiment. It is one our pantry items. I make it every few months. Put it in the fridge and wait for a time we want a really quick, tasty meal. The next few posts are going to be quick ideas of what to do with it that makes it an awesome addition to your own repertoire.
4 lbs onions (sliced thin)
3 slices bacon (thick cut)
2 cup/225g sugar
1 cup/125g dark brown sugar
2 cup red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp./20g salt
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Place a large, non-reactive pan over medium-low heat. Add the bacon. The goal and render the fat. Once the bacon has crisped, remove.
2. Turn up the heat to high to medium-high, add the onions, salt and olive oil. Stir to make sure the onions are coated with the oil and bacon fat. Cook covered with a tight lid for about 20 minutes. Continue to cook stirring every 5 to 10 minutes until the onions begin to turn golden brown.
3. Add the sugar, brown sugar, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat until vicious. To test if it’s the right consistency, dribble a bit of the reduction on a plate and it still liquid, but slowly slips down the plate after it cools briefly. I also look to for doneness by dragging a spoon against the bottom of the pot. If it leaves a long valley, then its done. WARNING: Do not walk away from this once it begins to get close. There is enough sugar in this that it can burn and create sugar concrete on the bottom of your pan.
4. Remove from heat and let cool before storing. Place in a glass or heat resistant container. Cover and refrigerate. This is both acidic and high in sugar, so its excellent for long term storage. It keeps in the fridge well for at least 2 months. Some of the fat may become solid at the top after cooling. I simply scrape it off and dispose of it. Additionally, if the marmalade become too thick after cooling, simply reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds and I find it spreads very easily.