French Onion Preserves

This is one of those recipes that are nice to can after the holidays, when you have more time, and the days are cold.  This has lots of uses, from serving with pork or beef, to mixing with cream cheese or sour cream for spreads and dips.  It’s a good way to use your root cellar onions up.  This is a good recipe for a large electric frying pan.  I used some those little bitty 4 ounce jelly jars Myrna had given me – just the right size for a meal.  You don't have to can this if you keep it refrigerated, but I like to have it shelf-stable.                    
French Onion Preserves 
 3 1/2   Pounds  Yellow Onion -- Well cured and dry
     1/3   Cup  Olive Oil -- or as needed
  1 1/2   Teaspoons  Plain Salt -- Don't leave out
  1           Teaspoon  Black Pepper
  2          Each  Bay Leaves
  1 1/2    Teaspoons  Rosemary -- dry, crushed
  6          Ounces  Brown Sugar – dark if you have it
     3/8   Cup  White Wine -- or chardonnay or sherry
     3/8   Cup  Red Wine Vinegar
  1          Tablespoon  Balsamic Vinegar
  1 1/2    Tablespoons  Tomato Paste -- concentrate in tube
  • In a large heavy frying pan, heat up the olive oil and add the onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly - toss around to make sure they all have a coating of oil.
  • Cover and cook over a gentle heat until they start to color - 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Add the salt, pepper. Put bay leaves & rosemary in a spice bag, a tea ball or coffee filter and tie with string for easier removal.
  • Cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes, until the herbs have wilted.
  • Take off the lid and add the sugar, wine and vinegars and tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  • Bring them to a boil and keep stirring all the time; then lower the heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the liquid is all dissolved and the onions are soft & sticky.
  • Towards the end of the cooking - stir all the time so the onions do not stick and become burnt and scorched.
  • Remove the herbs and spoon the mixture into a clean, sterilized jars and seal, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Can in boiling water bath 15 minutes if desired.
  • This is ready to eat after 2 weeks, but better if kept for at least 1-2 months.
  • 2010 Cost:  About 93¢ per jar or $6.45 per recipe.
 Yield:  "Seven 4 Ounce jars"


  1. I love this blog. Thank you so much!


  2. This sounds great! I have to make some of this. I think I'd love it on different foods. Thanks for sharing, Sue! :)

  3. Thank you for linking up at the Carnival of Home Preserving. Hope to see you next week!


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