This onion stew or confit, almost caramelized, can be served as a side to any kind of savory dish or even be added to your preparations, such as savory custard or tarts.
This simple recipe is the occasion of sharing two tips:
- How to prevent onions from burning? You have to sprinkle salt on the onions at the beginning of the cooking process as salt will free the onion’s vegetation water. This way it’s not worth adding tons of fat and onions won’t stick to the pan or burn.
- Why is it better to mix butter and oil? First of all the French uses a lot butter for cooking as we like its flavor and sweetness. The problem with butter is that it does not support high temperatures (it browns at 130°C (262°C) and burns 180°C (350°F)). Adding oil, which has a higher smoke point, prevent butter from burning.
For Mediterranean cooking addicts like me, double the listed amount of olive oil and forget butter.
Onions are naturally sweet. When you slowly cook onions over an extended period of time, the natural sugars in the onions caramelize. This is why the quantity of sugar is low in the recipe. You can even choose to cook without sugar, then you may have to cook longer until caramelized.
The amount of onions in this recipe may seems huge, but the volume will considerably decrease once cooked as onions are composed of 85% water when dry and 90% when fresh.
- 1 kilo onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 knob butter
- 2 pinchs salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
First mince the onions.
- You can follow the step by step guidelines explained in the savory cooking basics section of the blog. Peel onions. Cut them in two and cut thin slices.
- In a pan over medium-high heat, heat butter and olive oil, or only olive oil if you prefer.
- Throw in minced onions, add salt and cook 5 minutes over medium-high heat stiring occasionnaly.
- Reduce the heat and season with sugar, salt and pepper.
- Leave over low heat uncovered (so that vegetation water evaporates) over low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour stiring occasionnaly. Onions will first become translucents then caramelize.