You will need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.
- 1 kg pickling onions, peeled and halved
- 250 gm coarse salt (1 cup)
- 4 cups crushed ice
- 750 ml white wine vinegar (3 cups)
- 220 gm white sugar (1 cup)
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tbsp each of yellow mustard seeds and pickling spice (see note)
- 1 tsp each of whole black and white peppercorns, whole cloves and ground turmeric
- ½ tsp each ground allspice and ginger
- 1Toss onions in a large bowl with salt and crushed ice. Place a weighted plate on top and leave for 1 hour to draw out excess water from vegetables while preserving crispness. Drain onions in a colander then pack firmly into an 11-cup capacity sterilised jar.
- 2Combine remaining ingredients and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Pour over onions in jar, cool, then seal with lid. Onions will be ready in 2 days and will keep in a sealed jar in refrigerator or in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
Note Pickling spice is a combination of mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill and fennel seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon quills and dried chillies, and are available from Herbie's Spices.