Six weeks to Christmas - time to get pickling!

Pickled Onions are a staple of Christmas feasting. Perfect for Christmas leftovers and late night suppers of cheese and biscuits. But who said pickled onions all taste the same? We’ve developed some of our own tried and tested recipes for pickled onions.

The following pickled onion recipes all use identical base ingredients and follow exactly the same simple method. Each makes 1 x 500ml  Kilner jar of pickled onions or shallots and can be easily multiplied if you’re making a bigger batch. Pick one to try, or get creative by using a different type of vinegar and adding your own mix of spices.


75g salt 

500ml warm water 

300g pickling onions or shallots 

300ml Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar 


Great for Christmas - the wintery spices in this recipe make the shallots the perfect accompaniment to cold meats, cheese and jacket potatoes.


8 cloves

1 cinnamon stick 

1 tsp allspice berries 

½ tsp black peppercorns



  1. Make a brine by dissolving the salt in 500ml warm water. 
  2. Allow to cool while you peel the onions or shallots, trimming them slightly at each end.  
  3. Add the onions to the brine. Use a plate or bowl weighed down with a tin or other heavy object to keep them all submerged. 
  4. Leave for 24 hours. 


  1. Gently heat the vinegar with the remaining ingredients (see below) in a saucepan until simmering, but not boiling. Stir occasionally to dissolve the honey if using. 
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. 
  3. Sterilise your jar by placing it on a tray in the oven for 15 minutes at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Allow to cool. 
  4. Drain the onions, rinse briefly under cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. 
  5. Pack the onions tightly into your jar, taking care not to bruise them, adding the whole spices as you go. Carefully pour the cooled vinegar and remaining spices into the jar until all of the onions are completely covered before securing the lid.
  6. Leave unopened for one month

The onions will be ready to eat after a month and will keep for up to a year. The flavour will continue to develop over time – if they’re around long enough without being eaten!