Added by Allora Andiamo | Wed 02 Sep 2009 @ 14:25
Note: The shallots and garlic will need to be soaked in the brine solution for 12-15 hours before being added to the spiced vinegar, so don\'t start soaking these at 11 \'o\'clock in the morning otherwise you\'ll still be making pickles at midnight !! lol
1 large sterilized jar with lid (mine\'s 750ml)
400g shallots (unpeeled weight)
about 10 garlic cloves,whole
400ml balsamic vinegar
about 2 tsps of brown sugar
2 -3 small bay leaves
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 juniper berries
3 whole spice berries
1 or 2 small dried chillies (optional)
600ml water + 55g salt (place water and salt in a deep bowl and allow to dissolve)
1. First, carefully peel the shallots and garlic cloves, leaving them whole.(Peeling them under running water helps to loosen the skins a little).
2. Place the shallots and garlic in the brine solution and leave them to soak for 12-15 hours.
3. After soaking, rinse them well (they will be slightly oily) and pat them dry.
4. To prepare the spiced vinegar, place all of the spices + vinegar in a saucepan and let the mixture simmer for about 5 mins. Allow the mixture to cool down. Now you can either strain it or use it as it is. The flavour will be a lot stronger if you retain the spices, which i prefer, but i always remove the cinnamon stick as it can be a bit overpowering.
5. Place the shallots and garlic in the sterilsed jar. Pour over the spiced vinegar covering them completely.
6. Cover the jars tightly and store in a cool dark place for 3 months before using.