Intro: Onion Confiture
Confitura is a sweet preservation technique. Literally (note here that I'm using the term "literally" correctly . . . use it correctly or I'll hunt you down). Confitura is the process of jamming. No, not like a garage band does every Thursday night upsetting neighbors. Confiture is a sweetened vegetable or fruit that's canned and meant to be eaten in any number of ways such as on bread, on spreadable cheese on bread, or off the chest or belly of a loved one.
Step 1: The Haves
3 lbs Onions (any kind, here they are yellow--you could do a mix)
1/2 c. Olive Oil
1/2 - 1oz Herbs still on stems (here I used rosemary, but thyme or whatever would be fine)
3 bay leaves
1/2 c. Honey
1/4 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar (or white wine or cider or champagne)
1/4 c. White Wine
4 tsp Salt (kosher or sea)
Pepper as desired
Canning impedimenta if you are planning on preserving it rather than hogging out on it.
Step 2: Cutting
- Cut off the roots and tip.
- Skin the onion.
- Cut the onion in half through the root.
- Slice 1/4" strips crosswise, not root to tip.
- Try not to be a baby and cry with doing this. Wuss.
Step 3: Cook It: Part 1
Add the olive oil to the pot and heat to medium. Add the onions. Use about half of the salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir this mess together enough to thoroughly coat your onions with oil and salt and pepper. At this point you'll make nests throughout the onions and add the bay and rosemary (or whatever herbs you are using)*. Cover the nests with onions. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes. Check it every so often to make sure it's not burning. It shouldn't be a problem. The liquid that the salt brings out should cause the onions to steam. You can always drop the temperature a little if you need too.
* If you don't want stray bits of herbs floating in your finished product you can tie all of the herbs up in a cheesecloth bundle. I personally don't mind some rosemary floating around, but you might. Do as you wish.
Step 4: Cook It: Part 2
Uncover the onions and give them a stir. Now you'll add the sugar, red wine vinegar, white wine, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Cook this until the liquid is reduced by half. It'll be a while. 15 to 30 minutes. You could crank the heat up, but you'll probably just burn something. So leave it alone.
Step 5: Pick It and Thick It
When the liquid has reduced pick out the herb stems and bay leaves. You'll want to reduce the liquid away now until you have a thick jam consistency. The level of left over liquid is up to you.
Step 6: Can It
Here's where the canning impedimenta comes in. You might be looking at that All Clad stock pot and thinking, "Gee, that's not one of those awful, thin, enamel coated canning pots." And you'd be right. Those things suck. If you have a huge pressure cooker then hot water can in that. If you have a huge stock pot like mine, then invest in a wire steamer rack that fits it. You'll boil faster, you'll boil harder, you'll come back up to boil faster, and well, you won't have one of those suck canning pots around.
You know what to do. Sterilize your cans and lids and utensils in the water you're heating up in the stock pot. Fill the cans using a ladle and that nifty canning funnel. Work some of the air bubbles out with a sterilized butter knife or something (you won't get them all out and don't worry about it). Put the lid and band on finger tight. Plunge it into the water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a folded up towel for several hours. Done.
Step 7: Final Thoughts
It's quick and easy. If you organized well you could go from having no onion confiture to having canned onion confiture in 2 hours. Most of that time will be spent waiting or being efficient and doing something else like cleaning your kitchen.
I'd recommend using half pint jars. I didn't know we had any (they were hiding in the quart jar boxes) and used pints. I only got two out this recipe. So use the smaller jars or scale the recipe up two or three times.