canning & pickling

Pickling: Red Onions & Peppercorns

23 April 2020

 

Pickling is possibly the easiest and fastest way to transform your foods. This method, in particular, for pickling red onions takes about 10 minutes (of work) for crunchy, acidic, and sweet onions that will last up to a month in the refrigerator.

The best part about pickling is that, unlike canning, you don’t need to sterilize your glass jar or worry tremendously about bacterial growth (as you’ll be storing these in the refrigerator). You also don’t need to worry so much about the science and mechanisms taking place behind the scenes, as you do with fermentation or baking. Because unlike those two things, you aren’t relying on a chemical reaction for the end product and you can shift the ratios to best satiate your palate.

Personally, I would suggest keeping a 2:1 vinegar to water ratio, but playing around with salt and sugar levels, adding in a habanero pepper, using szechuan peppercorns, …  is up to you!

 

 

Pickled Red Onions

Gather [materials]:

  • chef’s knife or mandoline
  • canning jar

Gather [ingredients]:

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar (optional: substitute with white vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • optional: 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

 

Instructions:

Prep the onions: Thinly slice onions according to personal preference. I prefer to cut the onion in half, length-wise, slicing through the root. Taking one half I, with a chef’s knife snip off the root and tunic ends. Then, slicing perpendicular to the root and tunic removal cuts, I slice from tunic to root. This creates even slices and allows for better control as I move through slicing. Control = even-sized slices = uniform pickling.

Pack onions into jar. The jar should be full, but not overwhelmed by the amount of onion.

For the brine: Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, water, and optional peppercorns to a small saucepan. Simmer gently, until all sugar and salt are dissolved.

Pour the saucepan brine into the jar and over the prepped onions. If using a canning jar, put on the lid and give the jar a quick shake to ensure all onions are covered. Unscrew lid and allow to cool, uncovered. Once cool, transfer to the refrigerator for long term storage.

For quick pickling, wait 45-60 minutes.

For more vigorous pickling, allow several days.

 

Pickled Red Onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Pickling Time 2 days

Equipment

  • Chef's knife
  • Mandoline
  • Canning jar (16 oz)

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions medium
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar (optional: substitute with white vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (optional)

Instructions

  • Prep the onions: Thinly slice onions according to personal preference.
  • Pack onions into jar. The jar should be full, but not overwhelmed by the amount of onion.
  • For the brine: Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, water, and optional peppercorns to a small saucepan. Simmer gently, until all sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Pour the saucepan brine into the jar and over the prepped onions. If using a canning jar, put on the lid and give the jar a quick shake to ensure all onions are covered. Unscrew lid and allow to cool, uncovered. Once cool, transfer to the refrigerator for long term storage.

Notes

For quick pickling, wait 45-60 minutes.
For more vigorous pickling, allow several days.
Store, refrigerated, for up to one month.

 

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