I’m a big fan of any recipe that uses minimal ingredients—but has maximum impact. And I especially warm up to a recipe that’s also easy to make. And these tangy, sharp, and beautiful Pickled Red Onions fit that bill.
I recently made a fantastic red chile-cooked pork shoulder, similar to red chile braised beef and served these onions alongside, with some tortillas. They have a stunning red color, which always surprises French guests. Red onions are considered sort of a specialty in France and are four times the price of regular onions, so they’re not used quite so often.
But if you live somewhere where onions prices are equivalent, revel in as many red onions as you can, and feel free to double or triple this recipe. As Joni Mitchell sang, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.
I don’t think she was singing about onions, although these pickled ones are certainly something to sing about.
Pickled Red Onions
- 3/4 cup (180ml) white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (50g) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 allspice berries
- 5 whole cloves
- a small, dried chile pepper
- 1 large red onion, peeled, and thinly sliced into rings
- In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, seasonings and chile until boiling.
- Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Transfer the onions and the liquid into a jar then refrigerate until ready to use.
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