This is an extraordinarily simple recipe for Caramelized Onions – the only ingredient being onions! It does, however, take some time; about ten minutes prep with a good knife, and an hour or two of cooking, with the occasional stir. The golden brown result, with its sweet depth of flavour is a delicious reward for time well spent, and it's economical too.
I’m suggesting around 2lb/1kilo of onions: it is not really worth doing with less, as the onions reduce by about 80 percent when cooked – you end up with about a fifth of the volume you started with, or less, once the cooking-down and caramelization has completed, but the flavour and aroma means that a little goes a long way. You could certainly double the quantity, or more, as the Caramelized Onions will keep for days in the fridge, or can be frozen in portions, and will reheat easily and well. Your only limit is the size of your cooking vessel.
There are no other ingredients required, as the natural sugars present in the onions are all that are needed to produce the caramelization.
You will need a large, heavy based saucepan or pot if you are cooking on the hob/stovetop, or a large roasting pan or dish if you prefer to cook them in the oven.
Caramelised Onions – an easy and delicious onion recipe
Ingredients: 2lb/1kilo (or more, see above) of white, yellow, Spanish or similar onions.
Method: peel the onions and cut in half from stalk-end to root. Slice the onions fairly finely into half-rings. Put the onions into a large saucepan or pot over a medium heat, or into a roasting tin or tray into a medium oven. Use no oil, water, stock, or any other ingredient than onions. Stir from time to time to make sure the onions don’t catch and burn. It will seem to take forever, but eventually the onions will begin to collapse as the water in their juices cook out – reduce the heat now, and you may need to stir more often to make sure they cook evenly. Once the onions have completely collapsed and reached a deep golden brown they are ready. These Caramelized Onions can be made well ahead of time and reheated when needed.
Caramelized Onions are great with sausages, burgers etc, alongside steaks, or stirred into casseroles, stir fries and curries, as the base for an onion or other soup or for an instant boost of onioney sweetness wherever you need it, such as in the gravy for your Sunday roast.
In the next blog, I shall be showing how the above recipe, adapted with only a few other ingredients, and with a slightly different method, can become the wonderful preserve, Onion Marmalade.