There are more kinds of vinegar in the world than just white distilled or apple cider vinegar! Here is a fun winter project using malt vinegar (5% acidity). Jars of these pickles are a tradition n English pubs. Normally served whole, maybe with a Ploughman's-style lunch board, or with fish and chips. They can be used in more creative ways on sandwiches, on toast with cheese, or included in a savory meat pie.
English Pub Pickled Onions
Yield: about 3-4 pint jars
- 2.5 pounds small unpeeled onions (four 10 oz. bags)
- 8 cups water, divided
- 8 Tbsp. pickling canning salt, divided
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp. whole allspice
- ¼ tsp. chile flakes
- bay leaves
- 5.5 cups malt vinegar (5% acidity)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
Put 4 cups of water in a large bowl. Add the 4 Tbsp. salt, whisk or stir well to dissolve. Add the onions. Put a plate on the bowl, and weigh it down, to hold the onions down into the water. Let sit for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature.
Drain onions, discarding soaking liquid from bowl.
Make a second batch of brine in the large bowl with the second 4 cups of water and 4 Tbsp. salt.
Peel onions, adding to the fresh batch of brine in the bowl. Put a plate on the bowl, and weigh it down, to hold the onions down into the water. Let stand for 2 days at room temperature. Drain onions, discarding brine.
Rinse the onions, drain well.
Make a spice mixture from the peppercorns, allspice berries, and hot pepper flakes; set aside.
Combine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Add onions and boil gently for 5minutes.
In each jar put 1 bay leaf. Divide the spice mixture between the jars.
Pack hot onions into hot jars. Ladle hot pickling liquid into the jars to cover onions, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim, center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Process in a boiling water canner or atmospheric steam canner for 10 minutes 0-1000 ft., 15 minutes 1001-6000 ft., 20 minutes above 6000 ft. For boiling water canning, turn off the heat, remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes.
For atmospheric steam canning, turn off the heat, leave canner lid on and wait 2-3 minutes.
Source: adapted from https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/pickled_pearl_onions.html
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