Caramelized onions are probably the easiest way to add a punch of flavor to your food…from roasts to eggs to burgers to pasta dishes. Since I am all about making things easy, I buy a big bag of onions on sale (this time of year, they tend to be CHEAP for holiday dishes) and cook them when I am cooking another dish. Simply let cool and pop into the fridge, and use as needed!
3 large onions (I have done a 3 lb bag at once, and it worked as well)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Liberal salt and pepper
First, prep all the onions. I cut the ends off, peel the outer tough layers of skin, and then slice in half, so I have a flat side of the onion on the cutting board. Then, I slice each half of onion into the thinnest strips I can.
As I cut the onion, I throw the cut pieces into a medium saute pan that has a lid.
After all the onions are cut into strips, drizzle on the olive oil and liberally sprinkle on salt and pepper. If you have more than 3 onions, increase the oil a little bit, but no need to increase the oil exponentially (i.e. using 6 onions, there isn’t a need to use 4 tablespoons of oil. I would use 2 tablespoons and an extra teaspoon).
Stir to ensure all the onions are coated evenly in olive oil and salt and pepper, and then place the pan on the stove, and heat to medium. Once the onions start sizzling and turning translucent, reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid.
I know, I know….cooking on low seems to take FOREVER and a day, but I assure you, burned onions won’t taste nearly as good as low and slow onions.
I read instructions years ago on how to caramelize onions, and it called for constant stirring. Take it from me, its not 100% necessary. I would stir frequently, maybe once every two minutes, but since its low heat, constant stirring isn’t totally needed. Unless you really want to stir constantly, then by all means, go for it! The onions should start to reduce in size and start to turn brown.
Cook the onions until dark golden brown, and this could take up to 30 minutes. Once done, you can either use immediately, or cool and place in a container and refrigerate. Should keep for up to 2 weeks.
If you are using from the fridge, I would let them sit out and warm up a bit. Its not so much for the sake of the onions, but more so for the dish you are adding them too; using cold ingredients straight from the fridge will add cooking time.