A Cook's Plot

Preserves & Condiments

Caramelised onion chutney

Fabulous as an accompaniment to anything from cheese to pâté

I offer an optional evening meal to my bed and breakfast guests and, thanks to the amazing Airbnb reviews I’ve been getting since I opened in August 2021, almost everyone is ‘dining in’ during their stay. Most people order a main course and dessert but a couple coming next week have asked for a starter and main course instead, so I’m serving mushroom pâté with caramelised onion chutney. After a bit of experimentation, this is my new favourite chutney recipe - it’s so easy to make and just needs a little patience (not usually my strong point, but worth the wait!) while the onions first soften and then turn into a gorgeous sticky chutney.

It’s great with pâté, as part of a ploughman’s lunch, with fritters, with cheese on toast - you name it, the chutney will probably go with it beautifully!


Serves 8

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 750g onions
  • 150g dark soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • good pinch chilli flakes
  • half tsp paprika
  • half tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped


Finely slice the onions then fry them very gently in the oil for about 25 mins until they are soft and transluscent. Stir in the sugar until it starts to dissolve, then add the rest of the ingredients. Turn up the heat and allow everything to bubble vigorously for a few mins, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 40 mins.

Meanwhile, sterilise two jam jars by running them through a short cycle in the dishwasher.

The onion mixture should now be dark brown and quite thick. If the liquid still looks very runny, turn up the heat again and boil until it becomes thick and syrupy. Ladle into the jars and seal with lids or jam pots covers. Will keep for about three months in the fridge.

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