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Compote of Glazed Shallots

This recipe is dead simple, yet it draws out all the sweet, fragrant flavour of the shallots and at the same time gives them a glazed pink, jewel-like appearance. It makes an excellent accompaniment to beef, or you can add a bit of sophistication to bangers and mash. Cider and cider vinegar can be used instead of wine to make it more economical.

 Compote of Glazed Shallots

  Serves 8

 1½ lb (700 g), about 24 small, even-sized shallots, peeled and left whole (ones that split into twins count as 2)
 2 fl oz (55 ml) red wine vinegar
 14 fl oz (400 ml) dry red wine
 pinch salt
 1 level teaspoon sugar
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Use a wide, shallow saucepan which will take the shallots in one layer, then simply place all the above ingredients except the sugar in it and bring everything up to simmering point. Then turn the heat down to its lowest setting and let the shallots simmer (just a few bubbles breaking the surface) for 1-1¼ hours. Turn the shallots over at half-time, and 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time sprinkle in the sugar. You should end up with tender shallots glistening with a lovely glaze. If your heat source is not low enough, you may need to use a diffuser. If it's more convenient you can cook the shallots in advance, and gently re-heat them before serving.
_This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection and has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine._


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