Caramelised Onion Relish
My kids decided that we should make Andrew some caramelised onion relish to go with the double thick big steak we buy him every year for his Father’s Day present. “Good idea” I said without realising that the “we” they referred to was a bit of a royal we a.k.a “me”! They jumped on the trampoline and I think their sole contribution in the end was to bring in some bay leaves from the garden for me….and triumphantly carry in Andrew’s dinner to him. Reflected glory and implied effort. Ah well. They did make him gorgeous cards, write him a poem (Sam) and shower him with love and kisses all day. What more could a father want?!
Caramelised Onion Relish
(Quantities are approximate…use your tastebuds to guide you. All this huge amount here ended up with one small jar and one small bowl to eat on the night)
5 large brown onions sliced
2 cups decent red wine (I used a nice Shiraz we had open)
1/2 cup balsamic condiment (we had this bottle of sweetish balsamic syrup which we had been given and don’t really use – hence its use in here. Feel free to substitute balsamic or other vinegar and a tablespoon of brown sugar)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons juniper berries – lightly crushed
1 teaspoon hot paprika
5 bay leaves
1 large stick of cinnamon
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 heaped teaspoon dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
Rice bran or similar oil for frying
Heat a wide pan (more surface area means less time standing at that stove) and add a generous quantity of oil. Fry the onions, stirring frequently. Add a little salt to help prevent them from burning, but be aware that the salt also tends to turn the onions to mush. Add the bay leaves, juniper berries, cinnamon and cloves while frying the onions. When they are nearly golden brown, add the garlic, ginger, mustard seeds and paprika. After frying for a further five to ten minutes (before the onions start to burn) slowly start adding in some red wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all those caramelised bits off it. Now add the vinegars and dijon mustard. Taste as you go along to get the right balance between sweet, sour and salty. The onions ended up really sweet so I didn’t add in any sugar or raisins as I had originally planned. Use wine to thin it out to the desired consistency. Bottle into a sterilised jar while still hot.
Perfect with a nice juicy steak!