Proper English Pickled Onions

There is almost not better accompaniment for a pint of lager than pickled onions and a thick slab a tasty cheddar. Store bought pickled onions just aren’t the same as the ones that you get in a British Pub so here is my rendition of the English Classic.


  • 1 kg pickling onions (peeled)
  • 4 tsp pickling spice or 1/2 tsp  coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp black pepper corns, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 25 g salt
  • 1 litre malt vinegar
  • 170 g sugar


  1. Top, tail and peel the onions
  2. Sprinkle the salt over the dry peeled onions, stir to make sure that the salt is distributed and leave to stand overnight. (Don’t leave them longer than overnight if you want the onions to remain crisp)
  3. Place the spices, vinegar and sugar into a stainless steel pot. Heat until the sugar is dissolved but do not boil.
  4. Pack the onions into clean, sterilized jars. Fill the jars with the vinegar mixture to cover the onions. Seal the jars and leave to cool.

Your classic English Picklers can be eaten in about a month but taste better if you can leave them for two.