There are a thousand methods for caramelizing onions and each chef will tell you that their way is the best. High heat, stirring a lot? Low and slow? Water? No water? Salt? No salt? No matter the method, caramelized onions make a fantastic addition to so many dishes!
Personally, I use medium-high heat to start, then lower it towards the end. I also am a huge advocate for adding splashes of water. I have had chefs tell me that it is not the “proper” way to caramelize onions. Whatever. It keeps the bottom of the pan from burning and adds all that delicious fond to your onions! For these specific onions, I added a little balsamic vinegar and rosemary at the end.
First, you want to cut your onions into a thin julienne. This helps them caramelize faster. For two large onions, heat 1 T butter and 1 T canola oil over medium high heat. The butter browns during the cooking process adding delicious flavor and the canola oil keeps it from burning.
Note: You do NOT want to use a non-stick pan for caramelized onions. Non-stick will prevent the fond from forming and slow the caramelization process.
Add the onions plus 1 t salt and allow to begin to brown, stirring occasionally. The salt will help draw the moisture out of the onions.
Once the bottom of the pan develops a nice layer of fond (see above), add 1/4 c water to the pan and stir until all the fond has loosened.
Once the onions are soft and golden, you can add any seasonings you would like (or just leave them plain!). I added rosemary, balsamic vinegar and a little bit of salt. Now you have your base for Sage French Onion Soup, a French Dip, or any other creation you can imagine! Here are a few of my favorites (besides that Sage French Onion Soup!):
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
You do NOT want to use a non-stick pan for caramelized onions. Non-stick will prevent the fond from forming and slow the caramelization process.