Red Onion Marmalade

I needed a marmalade as an accompaniment to my Layered Meat Terrine, and this one works a treat with that. It’s also excellent with any cold meat and/or cheese platter, and works wonderfully on a salad or with hard-boiled eggs, too.

The main inspiration was Tony Tobin’s recipe which I scaled up, and altered the amounts and types of oil, sugar, and vinegar.

Serves: 8 – 10


  • 1 tablespoon veg oil
  • 2 large red onions, or 3 small, sliced finely
  • 3 tablespoons molasses sugar (dark muscavado or soft dark brown can work, too)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar can substitute)
  • Fresh thyme leaves (about 1 tablespoon or more), without stalks


  • One small, heavy-bottomed pot with lid


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, and add the sliced onions. Keep stirring until the onions have slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (except the thyme), increase the heat to high, and let it come to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat down very low (ideally, move the pot to the smallest ring at the lowest setting). Stir frequently until the vinegar fumes no longer catch in your throat, about 4-5 minutes. Taste, and add more sugar/vinegar/tomato paste to your taste.
  4. Put the lid on, and let the mixture simmer, stirring frequently, until the onion has become softened to your liking (I prefer it a bit ‘al dente’ myself; others may prefer it to be softer). If it seems quite liquid after 7-8 minutes, remove the lid for the remaining time. Stir in the thyme leaves, and transfer to a storage container in the fridge – or, serve immediately.

Chutney Options
To make this recipe more like a chutney, you could add 1/2 of a large, crushed and finely chopped, clove of garlic; and/or some finely diced apple; and/or a handful of raisins. I’d add some finely grated orange zest if doing so.


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