To my family’s delight buying onions in 50 pound bags has brought caramelized onions to our table. Caramelized onions take a food from plain to fancy and adds a wallop of yum.
The frugalista in me can’t stand to see anything wasted. Wanting to use up those spring onions before any spoil, I’ve taken to caramelizing onions. I’ve read that caramelized onions will store a week or more in the fridge. They don’t last that long around here. The kids even ate caramelized onions on their after school snacks.
Caramelizing onions is basically a slow cooking of onions on low heat to break down the sugars. The result is nutty, sweet, browned onions.
Pair caramelized onions with any food. We’ve been enjoying them on burgers, any kind of meat, eggs, cooked kale and chard, potatoes, rice, salad, squash, and my favorite…toast spread with cream cheese and caramelized onions.
After caramelizing onions the classic way on the stove top, I’ve found a great, no fuss, fool proof, fix it and forget it method…the crockpot!
Crockpot caramelized onions are good and add a spark of deliciousness to your everyday your meals. However, while onions caramelized in the crockpot are good, you just can’t beat the taste of classic stove top caramelized onions. They are scrumptious! I’ve posted both recipes for caramelizing onions.
If you make a big batch you can also freeze them for later use.
6 large onions
1/4 cup butter or olive oil (or a combination)
Salt to taste
Slice onions to about 1/4 inch. Put them in the crockpot. Add butter or olive oil. Cover and cook on low for 9-12 hours. I stir them every couple hours. They will get watery but don’t get discouraged. Much of the water eventually cooks off. The onions cook down to about 1/2 the quantity you started with. Salt them to taste.
Do not use margarine. I don’t recommend ever using margarine, but especially not in this recipe. Margarine would make it more watery. In addition to butter and olive oil I’ve used coconut oil. That works well too.
I add the salt after cooking because I don’t want to draw more moisture out of the onions while they cook.
I like to start them before I go to bed. They’re ready in the morning so we can add them to eggs for breakfast.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds onions, thinnly sliced
scant 1 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in a very large skillet. Add olive oil and onions. Sprinkle with salt. Cook over low heat until the onions are soft, stirring several times. This takes about 30 minutes.
When the onions are soft, turn up the heat to medium and cook stirring constantly until they are browned to your liking. If residue from the juices builds up in the pan add a little water or wine and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, mixing it in with the browning onions.
If you are tempted to speed up the process of softening the onions by raising the heat just a little, DON’T DO IT. Been there. Done that. I got browned onions, not caramelized. Browned onions are good, but caramelized onions are great! Know from the outset that this is an hour long process.
Do you have a unique way you use your crockpot? Please share in the comments.
This post was shared at Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday