First I’ve had onion jam I didn’t like it. Truth, there is a lot of different kinds and this one, that I didn’t like was runny, with totally inappropriate spice mixture, not too sweet. My next accounter with this jam was completely different.
In a medieval Olde Hansa restaurant in Tallinn (I know, uber touristic, but I just couldn’t live here and not visit it) along with the appetizer came sweet red onion jam. Not sure anymore, but I think I could taste a hint of thyme, or some other herb, but the main thing was that the jam was sticky, leaving the taste of molasses on my tongue. Later we had it with the main prepared with deer meat, and some bear sausages and both time it was a winner. As we went home, we were thinking that the food was not so much special, but we could always come back for a bucket of that jam.
Funny thing is, you can buy this jam in a souvenir shop adjacent to the restaurant, a small clay kind-of-a-jar for the price of 15 €. And seems like a best seller!!! Some might think that it’s too much for a small jar of onion jam, which actually may be truth, especially when you see how fast, cheap and easy you can make this at home. But, this version I’m giving you today is only a good enough copy, still not as god as the original.
This jam goes best with roasted meats, especially game, as a burger condiment, and with cheeses, which is my favorite way to eat it. It is a strong condiment and although it may seem you will be able to eat a lot, please don’t, this is one of those things when less is more.
On the photos you can see the assembled appetizer on a pieces of heated Estonian leib with jamon serrano, brie cheese and onion jam. This jam goes great with hard cheeses, but I personally like it most with soft white mold cheeses such as brie or camembert.
Sweet Red Onion Jam
(recipe slightly adapted from here)
600 g / 21 oz cleaned red onions
2,5 tablespoons olive oil
300 g / 10.5 oz golden caster sugar
2,5 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
300 ml / 10 oz red wine
2,5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste and as needed
Slice the onions into strips. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions on medium heat until they soften. Be careful not to burn them. When the onions are soft, add sugar and stir until it dissolves.
Add wine, bay leaf, thyme and balsamico. Let boil then reduce the heat to medium low and let slightly simmer, stirring from time to time, until it thickens to the jam consistency. Remove and discard bay leaves at the end.
When jam is cooked season with salt and pepper to taste (that I don’t do as I don’t find it necessary). Pour into prepared jars and after it’s completely cooled store in the fridge.
This amount of ingredients makes about 400-450 ml / 13-15 oz jam. I suggest you make half a batch and see weather you like it or not.