It took me an absurd amount of time to realize that simply browning onions quickly in a pan was much MUCH different than taking the time to properly caramelize them. The flavor is worlds apart, and the end result is well worth the extra time this takes. You can also do this in your crock pot I hear, but that isn’t something I’ve tried yet. Its on the list, but for the moment I would like to show you how to do this right on your stove top.
The number one key is LOW and SLOW. You want to keep the heat at medium low, and be patient. Properly caramelizing onions should take at LEAST 30-45 minutes. More if you are doing a large batch. So take your time. Grab your kindle and a seat in your kitchen, and get ready to baby sit these for about an hour.
It is best to cut your onion the long way from top to root in half, and then cut into slices the same direction. This will help the onions stay together in larger pieces for things like french onion soup, or as toppings for steak, pierogies, or omelets. In the photo below, I have cut the more traditional way because the dish I was using them in had kids eating it. My kids are horrified at the THOUGHT of an onion, and small pieces are easier to hide.
Melt some butter in a large saute pan. I use about a tablespoon per onion. This was an extra large batch.
With the stove on medium low heat, add the onions and let them cook down, stirring occasionally.
Pretty soon they will start softening up and become translucent.
Pretty soon when you are stirring the onions will start to change texture and become a bit creamy.
In another 10 – 15 minutes you will slowly start seeing the color change.
Keep on keeping on until the onions are a beautiful coppery brown color.
Try and resist eating spoonfuls of this before it goes into your recipe, onto your steak, or wherever else you can dream up to add these.
- 3 large onions
- 3 TBSP butter
- Slice onions and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
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