Caramelized Vidalia Onion Marmalade



The other day I bought a 3 lb bag of vidalia onions even though I had no idea what I was going to do with them. In the summer, we usually cook them on the grill, wrapped in foil with some olive oil and balsamic. Since Shack worked every day for the entire summer, we didn't bbq at all so I didn't eat any vidalias and got so exited when I saw them that I couldn't just leave them there in the store. I knew there had to be a way of turning them into some sort of jam and so I went on an internet search for a recipe that would fit the bill. I found some really great sounding chutneys and jams but this one, from The Funky Kitchen, was the closest to the recipe I had clunking around in my head. I made some changes and some additions and I am happy to say that the resulting marmalade is exactly what I was hoping for. It will be great on roasted meat, in paninis, on crackers with blue cheese or on pizza and crostini. It's sweet and a bit spicy and full of delicious rosemary flavour.




Vidalia Rosemary Marmalade
adapted from Lucious Caramelized Onion Marmalade

3 slices of bacon
2 tbls olive oil
3 lbs of vidalia onions, peeled and slice thin
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
20 grinds of black pepper
1 bay leaf
the needles from a couple of stalks of rosemary
1 1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup red wine (I used a cab merlot)
1/2 cup rosemary wine syrup (you can just add 1 1/2 cups red wine if you don't have the syrup)
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

In a large pan or heavy pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside (or eat it immediately like I did). Add the olive oil, the onions and salt to the pan, mix well and cover.

Let the onions steam until they have given off their water. At that point, remove the lid, add the black pepper, rosemary and the bay leave and start the caramelization process. Don't let them burn while this is happening so that means don't go too far from them. They need to be stirred frequently and babysat until they get all nice and golden and melty. Only then do you add the wine , the sugars and the balsamic vinegar. Now that you have added all of that sugar to the pan, you can't leave it. Keep stirring and babysitting it until it reduces down to a jammy consistency. It's done when you can drag a wooden spoon across the bottom and it leaves a channel that only slowly starts to fill back in. You have to be really patient though because it really takes quite a long time to reduce the jam down but it is really worth it.

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