Onion marmalade

When I first tried The Grand Viglas Paté, I was intrigued by the new taste and look of the red stuff that came with it. As I had no idea what it was and how it should be eaten, I spooned it on top of the patéed bread. Only later did I find out that the dark red tangy-sweet garnish was the red onion marmalade.

When I started searching for a recipe on the Internet, I came across dozens of English, French and Slovak variations on onion marmalade. Finally, I decided to make my own from the staples I found at home. The recipe I’ve put together uses basic ingredients that are likely to be on hand in each household (not only a Slovak one) at any time.

Onion marmalade

  • 1¼ kg onion
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 500 ml apple vinegar
  • 500 g sugar
  • 10 allspice corns


  1. Wash the jars thoroughly in hot water with a few drops of washing-up liquid added. Let them dry off.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Put in a large cooking pot and stir in the salt. Leave to stand overnight in a cold, dark place.
  3. The onions will have let out juices by the following day. Add the vinegar, the sugar and throw in the allspice. Stir well, place over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
  4. Adjust the heat and let simmer for about 1½ hour or until the onions are translucent, soft and sticky. They will have reduced in volume and their colour will have changed as seen in the pictures below. 

  5. Remove the allspice corns and scoop the onion marmalade into the jars. Cover with the lids and let cool down slowly under a blanket. As they are cooling, you will hear the popping sounds that indicate a good seal.
  6. Store the jars in a cool, dark place. Once opened, refrigerate and use the contents of the jar within two weeks.

The amounts stated in the recipe yielded two jars (of different size) of the golden looking marmalade. I’m going to try it plain on my bread, or to pair it with our cheeses. The marmalade can also be used to garnish cold meats and patés.

Onion marmalade

If you use red onions and red wine vinegar, you’ll get the marmalade of a deep red colour. Mmmh … sounds like another batch, perhaps?

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