Mahogany colored caramelized onions are a wonderful sweet savory ingredient in French Onion Soup, and as a topping for ribs, brisket, caramelized onion pizza, chops, steaks, burgers, hotdogs, baked potatoes, your lover…
As amazing as it seems, onions can be very sweet if cooked slowly. The process converts the natural sugars to caramel. Naturally, the sweeter the onion, the better the outcome. If they are in season, try to use Vidalias from Georgia (May and June), Walla Wallas from Washington State (June through August), Texas Sweets (April through June), Mauis from Hawaii (summer through November), Sweet Imperials from California, and OsoSweet from Chile (January through March). These breeds are usually 3-6% sweet and can even get up to 10% sweet. As a bonus, they are also lower in pyruvic acid, the stuff that gives onions bite and makes you cry when cutting them.
My friend, Allen Kelson, says “When onions are cheap, we freeze baggies of caramelized ones; they’re great for moistening sandwiches and also for a gazillion other things.”
- 2 cups sliced sweet onions
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pinches salt
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Prep. Peel the onions and and cut them into 1/8 to 1/4" (3.2 to 6.3 mm) slices (I wear swim goggles to keep from crying). Separate them thoroughly.
- Cook. Get a large frying pan. It is important that you spread the onions out over a large surface, so don't do this in a saucepan or a small frying pan. And non-stick is best. Over a low heat, melt the butter, stir in the onions til coated, and add the salt. Cover for 15 minutes so they can steam with their internal moisture. Uncover, turn the heat up to medium, and let them cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until they are brown all over but not burned. The idea is to slowly extract most of the moisture, burn off the acrid stuff that makes you cry, and turn the copious natural sugars to caramel. Use immediately or keep in the fridge for a week or two.