How To: Caramelize Onions
Most caramelized onion recipes call for lots of oil or butter, or both. I have even seen ones where they want you to add salt and sugar to the onions! There’s really no need. The onions will caramelize in their own sugars and taste amazing without all the added calories. You just a need a little oil and a bit of patience.
Makes: about 1 cup
Preparation time: 5m
Cooking time: 5m
Total time: 45m
Equipment: 10" or 12” heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan with lid (I actually use my cast iron tagine for this)
- Take your onions and cut in half through the root so that part of the root stays attached to both halves. Peel each half and place cut side down on a cutting board. Take your knife and slice the onion into rings (see the first two pictures below).
- Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet and heat over medium. The reason you want a larger skillet is to have maximum surface contact with the onions so that they heat evenly. A heavy bottomed skillet or cast iron pan will heat more evenly and allow for even cooking throughout the onions.
- Place the sliced onions into it and cover with a lid for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir the onions. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to cook for another 20 minutes stirring every 3-5 minutes to make sure they do not burn. You want to onions to cook until they are dark brown in color. If they are not quite done after 20 minutes continue to cook this way, stirring frequently until they are dark brown but not burnt. If you neglect to stir them enough or the heat is too high they will burn. These take a lot of attention but are well worth it in the end. They will start to stick to the bottom of the pan, that's ok, just scrape up the bits that are stuck and stir them into the onions, this will help them to darken. At the very end you could add a little more olive oil to help scrape up all of the stuck bits.
How to slice the onions:
INLINE-IMAGE-START style="float: left; border: 5px solid black; margin: 5px;" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/anne-website/app/public/images/Recipe/22/other_images/11/medium/83ed8e9afb12240fe9c7f440f3d26cd80c0ef318.JPG?1379821281" alt="" /> The onions when first put into the pan:
INLINE-IMAGE-START style="float: left; border: 5px solid black; margin: 5px;" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/anne-website/app/public/images/Recipe/22/other_images/13/medium/dc02faf6c5a2efeb8203c25690ad3b2641ccbd3b.JPG?1379821283" alt="" width=" " height=" " /> The onions after 20 minutes covered:
INLINE-IMAGE-START style="float: left; border: 5px solid black; margin: 5px;" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/anne-website/app/public/images/Recipe/22/other_images/14/medium/4c2a13735cee97e772d17d634e02f6cf24e9cb25.JPG?1379821285" alt="" /> The onions when finished cooking:
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