Balsamic Vinegar, Thyme and Caramelised Onion Relish

Name: Elizabeth Taeed
Class Year: 2009
Country of Residence: Portugal

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

After four years of travelling, my husband and I have now settled in Portugal. Which means, we have a fully kitted out kitchen and amazing local farms. To celebrate, we bought a large sack of onions with which to make pickles, chutneys and relishes. This is the first! The balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme pair beautifully with the sweetness of the onions, and is a tasty crowd-pleaser (stay away from crowds though).

Balsamic Vinegar, Thyme and Caramelised Onion Relish

Serves 10. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes

4 tablespoons olive oil
12 cups onion, sliced (doesn’t matter how finely, but thinner slices cook faster)
½ cup water
8 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons thyme, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute until the onions are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to just a bit below medium, add the water, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Then remove cover, and continue cooking until the onions turn a deep golden brown, about 60 minutes total. You will need to stir every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes and every 5 minutes for the remaining time. (Add a bit more water if it starts to get to dry.)
Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, salt and pepper, deglaze the pan and cook until most of the moisture is gone.
Can be served warm or cold, either way it’s delicious! I served it with roast pork, sweet potato mash, and potato rosti, which worked beautifully.

The relish is the bottom left in the photo, and also in the middle of the rosti!

Caramelised Onion Relish ETaeed


Adapted from:

Onion Marmalade

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