Caramelising onions by slowly cooking them in olive oil until they turn yellow is a really wonderful way to extract flavour from the simplest of ingredients.
You can use these onions for steaks, burgers, onion soup, pastries, pizza or onion gravy.
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Number of ingredients:
Wide pan with thick base
Several medium or large onions, yellow, white or red
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter, if desired
Sugar, to taste (a teaspoon of sugar for 5 onions)
Balsamic vinegar, if desired
A little water
Cut the onion in half through the root end. Peel the skin from the onion and cut it into slices.
Grease the bottom of the pan with olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and butter (about 1 teaspoon per onion). Heat the pan over a medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions evenly over the pan and leave to cook, stirring occasionally.
Adjust the heat to prevent the onions from burning.
After 10 minutes, sprinkle the onions with salt and, if desired, add a little sugar to help the caramelisation.
One trick to keep the onions from drying out while cooking is to add a little water to the pan.
Then cook for another 30 minutes to an hour, stirring every few minutes. When the onions start to stick to the pan, let them stick and brown a little, then stir them before they burn.
As the onions caramelise, use a metal spatula to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. As the onions cook, you may need to scrape the pan every minute, rather than just every few minutes.
Continue cooking and scraping, cooking and scraping, until the onions are a rich brown colour.
At the end of cooking you can add a little balsamic vinegar or wine to deglaze the pan and give the onions extra flavour.
The onions can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.