Interesting accidental discovery story: Onion Marmalade
One night I was really hungry for something irony, minerally, rich and decadent. So I reach for the fridge and grab some leftover pate/liverwurst. I spread it on some French bread with butter, but felt something was missing. I fried some shallots and onions and tasted it and felt it needed a sweet and sour punch. So I decided to try something strange and I spread some pear jam I got from a friend on top and gave each a tiny spritz of lemon. The taste was outstanding and since jam and onions mixed so well, I wondered if there was such a miraculous concoction where they combined the two into one...onion jam. And apparently, this stuff is like a staple in French delis
Next thing I knew, I was buying and eventually making onion jam for the next month and now, if there's something rich and minerally, like pate, steak, or a nice juicy hamburger, I absolutely cannot eat it without slathering a big thing of onion marmalade on top. But to think it started from just some late night craving in college makes you marvel at the wonders of food...and it's rediscovery from the ground up can be a really satisfying and enlightening thing
Random story, but I just thought it was interesting what roads food obsession can lead you down. Makes me proud to be a "foodie"
I forgot where I found this recipe but this is my go to especially since it has bacon in it :). I use lots of butter instead of olive oil, and I add some dry figs, bay and a bit of rosemary
4 lbs onions (sliced thin)
3 slices bacon (thick cut)
2 cup/225g sugar
1 cup/125g dark brown sugar
2 cup red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp./20g salt
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Place a large, non-reactive pan over medium-low heat. Add the bacon. The goal and render the fat. Once the bacon has crisped, remove.
2. Turn up the heat to high to medium-high, add the onions, salt and olive oil. Stir to make sure the onions are coated with the oil and bacon fat. Cook covered with a tight lid for about 20 minutes. Continue to cook stirring every 5 to 10 minutes until the onions begin to turn golden brown.
3. Add the sugar, brown sugar, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat until vicious. To test if it’s the right consistency, dribble a bit of the reduction on a plate and it still liquid, but slowly slips down the plate after it cools briefly. I also look to for doneness by dragging a spoon against the bottom of the pot. If it leaves a long valley, then its done. WARNING: Do not walk away from this once it begins to get close. There is enough sugar in this that it can burn and create sugar concrete on the bottom of your pan.
4. Remove from heat and let cool before storing. Place in a glass or heat resistant container. Cover and refrigerate. This is both acidic and high in sugar, so its excellent for long term storage. It keeps in the fridge well for at least 2 months. Some of the fat may become solid at the top after cooling. I simply scrape it off and dispose of it. Additionally, if the marmalade become too thick after cooling, simply reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds and I find it spreads very easily.
I finally got around to trying the recipe - it was excellent! I've tried adding some sturdy herbs to infuse different flavors and made an orange variation with apricot jam and white wine/ vinegar.
I am a believer. This is goes between the pickled jalapenos and the mustard on my refrigerator door.