This recipe came from my friend Michael. He got the recipe from his grandmother, and made a few changes to it. (Like figuring out her very cryptic instructions.) These are a different pickled onion than the usual, having no extra spices and having a distinct salty quality. Of course, they don't have nearly as much salt in them as called for by the recipe, but they are definitely not a low-salt pickle. The quantity of brine to onions will depend on the size of your onions; and you will need to make several batches of the brine. (I've listed each batch.) He did not use pearl onions, just regular cooking onions, but small ones.
- Peel the onions.
- Place them in a large crock.
- Bring 1 cup of salt and 2 quarts of water to a boil, and pour over the onions.
- Let stand for 2 days in a cool spot, then drain them.
- Make more brine, and pour it while hot over the onions.
- Let stand for 2 more days, then drain them.
- Put your jars in a canner, and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes.
- Make more brine and this time add the onions, and boil them for 3 minutes.
- Fill the hot sterilized jars with the drained onions.
- Mix the vinegar, water and sugar.
- Heat to boiling and pour over the onions.
- Seal at once, according to manufacturer's instructions (generally, boil lids for 5 minutes) and process in boiling water for 10-15 minutes.
- Jars should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place until opened. Leave them at least a couple weeks. Once opened, store each jar in the fridge.