The temperatures are falling, the days are getting shorter and the sunlight is beginning to take on that watery aspect of Autumn. The end of summer always brings a tinge of regret for me – no more vacation, for starters! But it also brings pumpkins and fondue and warming soups. And hearty sandwiches for lunch.
Slather this rich and flavourful onion jam on a slab of sourdough and top it with a thick slice of aged Gruyère and you are in sandwich heaven!
Makes about 500ml (17 fl oz)
Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 2 hours
1 kg (2 1/5 lb) red onions
45ml (3 Tbsp) olive oil
30g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic
100g (1/2 cup, packed) dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp fresh (or 1 tsp dried) thyme leaves
240ml (1 cup) dry red wine
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Peel, halve and thinly slice the onions, roughly 3 – 5mm (1/8 – 1/5″) thick.
Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-based pan over low heat.
Add the sliced onions, toss to coat, and cook over low heat until softened, 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Peel, halve and very finely slice the garlic, and add it to the onions along with the sugar. Stir well, and allow the onions to slowly caramelise over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. There should only be a little oil left in the bottom of the pan, and the onions should be very soft.
Add the thyme, wine and balsamic vinegar, and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until there is only a little bit of thick and syrupy liquid left. Depending on the pan and how low you have the heat, it should take about an hour.
TIP: If it’s too acidic, which can happen due to the wine you use, add quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda, stir until it stops bubbling then taste again. Add a bit more if necessary.
Allow to cool, then pack into sterilised jars and seal. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months.