Burger & Chips to relish.

On the pan.

Ready for the oven.

It’s been over a week since my last post when I blogged about making Shallot and Rioja Relish. So when I decided to make burgers and chips for dinner the other night I couldn’t resist opening a jar. I was pleasantly surprised, it tasted great – sweet and tangy with the shallots still holding a little crunch. And it topped off the burgers very nicely. Tangylicious!

Tangy topping.

Red Onion Relish… Not!

Lotsa shallots.

Not a red onion in sight.

I had been planning for a while to make use of the remainder of this year’s red onion crop before the rot set in. So this weekend I decided to go for it and make Caramelised Red Onion Relish. Unfortunately the onions were rotten (I really need to work out a successful drying and storage system for next year’s crop). Shallots to the rescue! Luckily most my shallots were still in good condition so I decided to use them in the relish instead.  

Below is the recipe I used, substituting shallots for onions and Rioja for Shiraz. I also doubled everything in the recipe. There was a large queue in the Tesco off-license, so I ended up buying the ‘extravagant’ Rioja Reserva in O’Briens which was reduced to €12. I used 500ml of wine in the recipe and ended up with two 250ml jars of relish. That makes it a gourmet relish in my book. I had a small taster while I was cooking it and it wasn’t bad, but the real test will be in a couple of week’s time when I try it with some homemade burgers.

Caramelised Red Onion Relish


2 large red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup dry red wine (I used a Shiraz)

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 fresh bay leaves (optional)

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)


Stir the onions and brown sugar together in a large, heavy bottomed enamel pot. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the onions are very soft and deep brown in color (about 25 minutes). If the onions stick while cooking, stir in 1/4 cup of water and stir vigorously, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the wine, vinegar, and herbs. Turn the heat to high and bring the onions to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove the relish from the heat, pick out the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Pack the relish into hot half pint jars, seal, and process for 10 minutes.

Shallots and sugar.

The final product, alongside some other weird concoctions.