Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are delicious served with cheese or any cold meat. They should be stored for at least three months before eating.

3-4 POUNDS

8 oz. salt

4 pints water

2 lb. small white onions, peeled

2 oz. sugar

1 pint white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 bay leaf

In a large mixing bowl stir half of the salt into half of the water until the salt has dissolved. Add the onions. Cover the bowl and leave the onions to soak for 12 hours.

Drain the onions, discard the brine and wash and dry the bowl. Return the onions to the bowl. Dissolve the remaining salt in the remaining water and pour it over. Cover the bowl and leave for a further 36 hours.

Drain the onions and pack them into clean, dry preserving jars. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar over low heat, stirring constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, add the allspice, cloves and bay leaf and bring the vinegar to the boil. Roil the mixture for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and set it aside to cool.

When the vinegar is cool, pour it over the onions to cover them completely. Seal the jars and store them in a cool, dry place.

Pickled Walnuts

Walnuts used for pickling must be young and green and the insides must not be woody. In Great Britain, they are picked in late June or early July, in warmer climates about a month earlier.

Pickled walnuts are made in the following way: they are pricked all over, then soaked in brine for seven days. They are then drained, recovered with fresh brine

Picnic Patties, stuffed with musli-rooms, chicken and hum are ideal for outdoor eating especially when served with a light red Italian wine. and left for a further seven days. Drained once more, the walnuts are left to dry in an airy, sunny place for two days. By this time they should be quite dry and black. The nuts are then bottled, covered with spiced vinegar and left to mature for at least six weeks before being served. Pickled walnuts will keep indefinitely.

Pickling Brine

Pickling brine is used to salt meat, generally beef, (silverside or brisket), tongue and pork. Most butchers sell pickled or brined meat, but if they don’t it may be possible to order it. Do give the butcher plenty of notice, as it is important that the meat has been in the brine solution long enough for the salt to penetrate and flavour the meat – this usually takes at least three days. To pickle meat at home, combine gallon of water, 2 pounds of salt, 8 ounces of brown sugar and 1 ounce saltpetre in a very large pan. Place the pan over low heat and stir constantly until the dry ingredients have dissolved in the water. Increase the heat to high and boil the mixture for 15 minutes, skimming the scum that rises to the surface. Remove the pan from the heat and leave at room temperature to cool. Place the meat in a very large bowl. Strain the brine over it, place a weight on top and leave for at least three days before cooking.

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