Even the raw onion hater has a soft spot for a good caramelized onion. They taste nothing like a raw onion, so that probably has something to do with it. Slowly cooking the onions for 45-60 minutes does something magical – it brings out their natural sugars and makes them a sticky, sweet yet still savory, delicious condiment that you’ll want to slap on everything. All it takes is a few onions and a little patience.
I recommend using a stainless steel pan for this. Yes, it will work in a non-stick pan, but you’ll be missing all those delicious sugary oniony brown bits that stick to the bottom of the pan – it just doesn’t happen in non-stick pans. The natural juices from the onion will help you scrape up all those little brown bits, also known as “fond”. As the onions begin to lose moisture and become more caramelized, you’ll be able to deglaze the pan with a little liquid (wine, water, stock, balsamic vinegar, etc) to loosen up the fond.
You’ll seriously want to throw these on everything – on your favorite sandwich, on top of pizza, in a bowl of soup, on top of a Lean Cuisine (don’t judge me), or on top of some puff pastry for a quick (and kind of impressive) caramelized onion tart. Serve her with some soup and a little parmesan cheese! Ooh I just got excited.
They’ll keep in the fridge in an air tight container for about a week. You can freeze them for a few months. It’s something I like to keep on hand all the time (this, and roasted garlic).
makes ~ 1 1/2 cups (using 4 large onions) in about 60 minutes
2-4 large yellow onions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup liquid to deglaze the pan (wine, stock, balsamic vinegar, or water)
Slice onions in half from tip to root and remove the skin. Slice the onions into thin slices.
Heat a stainless steel pan over medium heat and melt butter. Add in the onions and stir gently to coat with the butter.
Continue to cook over medium heat, checking on the onions every 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the onions and scrape up any fond (those delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan) that stick to the bottom of the pan.
How long you choose to cook the onions depends on how many onions you started with and the level of caramelization you’re trying to achieve. I recommend at least 40 minutes – anything thereafter is just icing on the cake.
Once you’ve reached your preferred level of caramelization, deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of liquid. As the liquid begins to bubble, scrape up the fond at the bottom of the pan (add more liquid if necessary). Continue to cook until liquid has mostly evaporated.
Let cool completely and store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze up to 3 months.
Now, throw it on EVERYTHING.