June is a month for preserves, jams and chutneys: If you get a glut of any produce from market or allotment, this is when you should prepare this winter’s preserves. They will have a few months to settle and expand in colour and perfume, before they become wanted, ready to grace your winter table.
This savoury marmalade is a cross between a chutney and the lush “confiture d’onions” that we serve at home with a couscous. It goes very well with red meat or mature cheeses and today I am having it with an expansive Epoisse that would be stinking anything else out of my plate! It is also divine on the Godminster cheddar that I have discovered at Christmas and can’t get enough of…
- Red onions, 6
- Olive oil
- Butter 50g
- Sea salt
- Balsamic vinegar, 3 Tbsp
- Soft brown sugar, 1 Tbsp
- Raisins, 100g
- Half a seeded chilli pepper
- cinnamon stick
- 4 spices or all-spices mix, 1 tsp
Slice the onions finely with a mandoline. This makes finer slices and because it is quicker, I cry less! This is my least favourite bit…
Melt the butter in some olive oil and add the onions. Cook until soft or about 30min. Turning with a spoon and keeping close watch!
Add the vinegar and the sugar, sea salt and some finely chopped chilli. Trust your instinct and your taste buds: Less is more. Add the cinnamon and spices. Let it bubble under cover over low heat for 45 min until most of the liquid has evaporated- but adding water if it gets too dry. You want a sticky, jammy mixture.
Soak the raisins in hot water then drain and add a good handful towards the end.
Spoon the marmalade into clean jars where it will keep for a few months, in the fridge. Don’t forget to remove the cinnamon stick.
I use this on cold meat, cheese and even in cheese sandwiches or with boiled eggs. It keeps well in the fridge but probably not as long as a shop-bought chutney. If you make too much of it, you can always put it into nice jars and bring it to dinner parties as gift.