I made my own caramelised red onion chutney this week to give it time to mature in time for Christmas. I did the same last year as I never know what to get for parents and grandparents, so made Christmas hampers with homemade pate, chutney, peppermint cremes and fudge instead.
I don’t follow recipes (as David will tell you, I must get it from my Grandma Yvonne who always comes up with weird and wonderful concoctions) but I found the following to work pretty well for my chutney:
8 average-size red onions, sliced.
A good knob of butter.
200g of brown sugar.
250ml of red wine vinegar.
I put the sliced onions and butter in the biggest pan I have, they reduce but initially my pan was full to the brim. I read somewhere that you should put onions in a cold pan with oil or butter if you want them to slow cook so they cook gradually and thoroughly, so it takes a while stirring slowly as the butter melts and covers the onions. It takes FOREVER but I put the hob only just above the lowest setting so the mix cooks really, really slowly. I stirred occasionally and let the onions sweat and slow-cook for a good hour and a half before adding the sugar and vinegar. I turned up the heat slightly and let it cook for a good half hour longer, until the mix goes thick and sticky.
I wanted jars for the mix, but refuse to pay over the odds for clean empty ones.. I went to the supermarket and bought their own brand mint sauce (about 22p a jar) then emptied them out, cleaned them, soaked off the labels and steralised them ready for the chutney.
I filled them up and then made some labels using brown paper, white sticky back address labels, a felt pen, some twine and a fineliner. You can see that V decorated her own too..
How did Christmas come around so quickly…?