English Pub-Style Pickled Onions

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“This pickle is made the traditional way, with a short brining to keep the onions crisp, and with cool rather than hot vinegar. If you'd like to can the onions, though, use two one-pint or four half-pint Mason jars instead of a quart jar, and pour the spiced vinegar over the onions while the vinegar is hot. Seal the jars immediately with hot two-piece caps, and process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Sharp-tasting, brown malt vinegar is available at most supermarkets. If you can't find it, or if you'd like a milder pickle, use white wine vinegar.”
1 1/2 pounds

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a bowl, dissolve ¼ cup salt in 1 quart water; add the onions and weight them gently with a plate that fits inside the bowl.
  2. Let them stand 8 to 12 hours.
  3. Drain the onions, and peel them; return them to the bowl.
  4. Make a brine with the remaining salt and water, pour it over the onions, and weight them gently again.
  5. Let them stand 2 days.
  6. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil; let the liquid cool.
  7. Drain and rinse the onions, and drain them well again.
  8. In a 1-quart jar, layer the onions, peppercorns, allspice, pepper flakes, and bay leaf.
  9. Cover them with the cooled, sweetened vinegar.
  10. Cover the jar with a nonreactive cap, preferably all plastic.
  11. Refrigerate the jar for at least 1 month before eating the onions.
  12. They will keep for at least 6 months.

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