Caramelized Onions

These are fabulous on almost anything. I’ll admit, I forgot to take a pic of the onions on their own after I made them. This image was found off the interwebs, but I promise, this is exactly what you want them to look like after you’re done with my recipe. When you’re cutting your onions up, you’ll probably think that you have way too much. You don’t, as you can see from the first pic, the sliced onoins fill up the entirety of one of my large cutting boards. They will cook down to less than a cup of caramelized onions. This is a bit time consuming, so make sure you have a good book handy or can watch tv from your kitchen. You won’t want to leave things unstirred for more than 5 min at a time. You will be rewarded for your time and patience. I promise!

-3 large onions, cut in half and then sliced thin
-2 Tbs olive oil
-2 Tbs either butter or rendered bacon fat
-1 Tbs decent quality balsamic vinegar
-salt and pepper

1) Heat up a large heavy-bottomed stock pot to medium heat, add the olive oil and let warm. Add the onions and put in a good pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir the mixture every few minutes to make sure nothing sticks. At this point you want NO COLOR to form on the onions. If you brown them too early in the process you’ll end up with burnt bits.

2) Once the onions have turned clear and most of the liquid has evaportated from the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low or low depending on your stove. Cook, uncovered, for another 40 min to hour or more, stirring every 5-7 minutes. You should still not be seeing any browning for a while. Once the onions have cooked down to almost nothing, and there is very little water left in them (they will almost start desintegrating) then you will see them begin to caramelize. At this point you’ll need a good flat bottomed wooden spoon as you’ll want to make sure you scrape all the golden bits from the bottom of the pan. You might need to add a touch more olive oil if things are charring rather than turning a soft golden.

3) Once it gets to the point that you’re having a pretty hard time keeping up with the scraping and your pot of onions is taking on a light golden hue, add a few dashes of the vinegar. Add just enough to help give it a nice color and to deglaze the pan. You don’t want to see liquid in the bottom though. Cook, stirring often, for another 10 min. The color, will be a nice medium-dark brown due to the caramelization and the vinegar.


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