How I caramelize onions

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This isn’t so much a recipe as a “How I do things” kinda post. I generally make a giant batch of caramelized onions at a time, but I’ve made a smaller batch here to better show the process. It’s pretty simple really, just butter, oil, onions, and salt.

This is kind of a labor of love. I think the way to go is low and slow baby, looooooow and sloooooow.

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I slice the onions thin. If making a gigantic batch (ie: anything more than 3 or 4 onions worth) I will slice them with a mandolin or my food processor. I just did 4 onions, so I sliced them by hand.

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Throw a tablespoon or two of butter in a good thick pot, and a tablespoon or two of oil. Set it going over pretty low heat.

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Tada! Nice warm fat.

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Throw the onions in the pot, and add a good generous amount of salt to the mix. I turned the heat up just a teeny tiny bit to like, just a hair above low. The above picture is right when I threw the onions into the pot.

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This is after 10 minutes. Keep those onions moving. The key is to get all the sugars in the onion to caramelize, just like you would with a normal plain old sugar.

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This is after 20 minutes. I know sitting there babysitting onions are kinda boring, but it’ll be worth it in the end. As a side note, this is also why I make a big batch.

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This is after half an hour. I know it seems like it’s not going anywhere, but trust me… we are getting close!

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And TADA! This is after 40 minutes. Brown, sweet, and delicious. NOW! If you are making a gigantic batch, this may take longer than 40 minutes. I’ve made 20 or 30 onions worth (For a French onion soup) that took about 3 hours to get to this point. Just patience and love.

Throw them into a container, and you can pull out onions whenever you need them. I usually cook them a little more just to get them warm, as a base for whatever I’m making.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Chicken sate with wilted spinach « Paleo-rrific

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