Back to pickling! I had this recipe bookmarked even before learning what this month's Can Jam ingredient was. We have a sort-of CSA at the farmer's market (we write them a check for $300 and get $400 in "store credit"). The farm that we have this arrangement with specializes in alliums, especially garlic. Their shallots are pretty great, too, so I used a variation on The River Cottage Preserves Handbook's pickled onion recipe to make these pickles.
Pickled Shallots with Red & White Wine Vinegars
adapted from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook & the Ball Blue Book
(If you find you have trouble peeling the shallots - they can really be little buggers - try plunging them into boiling water for 20 seconds and then immediately plunging into ice water. They should then peel more easily... though they're still tedious to peel.)
- about 2.25 lb small shallots, peeled
- 50g fine salt
- 300ml / ~1.5 C red wine vinegar (I used a cabernet vinegar)
- 300ml / ~1.5 C white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
- 150g honey or sugar (I used honey)
- 25g scrubbed ginger, cut into coins
- 2 tsp allspice berries (I ended up substituting 3 tsp of pickling spices for the allspice, mace, and mustard)
- 2-3 mace blades
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
Pour the vinegars into a pan with the honey or sugar, ginger, and all spices other than bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to infuse overnight.
Meanwhile, put the shallots into a dish and sprinkle with the salt. Cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat brine to a boil. Rinse the onions in cold water, drain, and add to brine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pack into jars.
Pour hot liquid over shallots, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Allow pickles to mature for at least 6 weeks before eating.yield: about 4 C (I ended up with 2 pt jars and 1 1/2 pt jar)
ETA on May 18, 2010: I finally tried the pickles - they're very tasty, and the perfect accompaniment to grilled hot dogs and burgers.