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Perfect Caramelized Onions

A building block to good flavor and the foundation of many stews and sauces involves caramelizing onions. It’s not difficult to do, but it does require a bit of patience as it takes at least an hour depending on the number of onions you’re doing.
Course Basics
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Fat, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 serving

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 16 onions medium (peeled with just the tops trimmed off)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a large heavy bottomed pot, holding the root part of the onion use a mandolin to slice the onions straight into the pot, discarding the root. When you're done slicing, add the salt and stir.
  2. Cover the pot with a lid, and then turn the burner on to medium-low heat. Cook covered until the onions have mostly broken down and are a pale brown sludge (about 45-60 minutes). Be sure to stir the pot periodically, checking to make sure the onions aren't burning. If they are, turn down the heat and add a bit of water.
  3. Once the onions have gotten to this stage, remove the lid and continue cooking until there isn't water vapor coming up from the onions (another 45-60 minutes). You'll want to stir the onions every few minutes to make sure they're not burning.
  4. Once most of the moisture has burned off, you'll need to constantly stir the onions, scraping up the bottom of the pot with a silicone spatula to keep the onions from burning. Fry the onions until they are very glossy and are the color of coffee with milk.
  5. If the onions start burning to the bottom of the pan before they reach this stage, deglaze the pan with a bit of water, scrapping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  6. Once your onions are fully caramelized, turn off the heat and allow them to cool. To store them for later use, fill a clean ice cube tray and freeze them. Once the onions are frozen you can remove them from the tray and place them in a Ziploc bag.