Pickled shallots in sherry vinegar

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This recipe needs advance preparation!

Pickled shallots in sherry vinegar
Pickled shallots in sherry vinegar

Random recipe review

Expensive, but worth every penny


This isn't cheap to make, but the sherry vinegar makes a world of difference - so much nicer than malt vinegar.

Paul R Smith
Servings:Servings: 32 - Makes 2 x 1 litre jars
Calories per serving:48
Ready in:2 days, 2 hours
Prep. time:2 days, 2 hours
Cook time:None
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:24th December 2012
The basic ingredients

Sherry vinegar is just my favourite vinegar and with pickled shallots it imparts a sweeter note.

If you prefer a sweeter pickled onion, then add one or two teaspoons of brown sugar to each jar.

The onions need to soak for two days before pickling so plan a little ahead.


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


2 days before the pickling is to start

  1. Peel the shallots and place in a large bowl - The easy way to do this is to blanche in boiling water for a 2 or 3 minutes first, cut the root off, grip firmly from the 'leaf-end' and squeeze the shallot out of its skin.
  2. Mix the salt into 2 pints of hot water and pour this over the shallots
  3. Leave for two days in a cool place, covered with a tea towel. You can place a clean plate on top of the onions to keep them underwater

Pickling day:

  1. Discard the salt-water and rinse the shallots in a sieve under cold running water. Pat dry with a tea-towel.
  2. Add all of the ingredients except for the sugar to a large pan and bring it almost to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave it to go completely cold
  3. remove the pickles from the salt water and pat dry on a clean tea-towel
  4. Sterilise the pickling jars and pack the onions into the jars
  5. Pour the vinegar, with the spices, into the jars and add the optional sugar
  6. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 2 months to mature


Play around with the vinegar mixture by making and tasting very small amounts to get the ration correct.

Try adding different spices such as chillies or coriander seeds.

Chef's note

For this batch I used Echalion shallots, (banana shallots), which are a good deal larger than normal shallots. To ensure they pickled evenly, I cut the really big ones in half.

Although I've found these quantities to be perfect for me, just to ensure that you have the correct quantities of onions and vinegar to match your jars, once they are peeled, pop them in the pickling jars to see if they fill them up. Top up with water so they are just covered, then pour off and measure the water and that's how much vinegar you'll need. Add extra onions or use smaller jars if required.

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