Onions are one of the biggest gifts to cooks on a budget because they pack amazing flavour for their tiny price tag. These onions may seem like a bit of work, but you’ll be well rewarded with a super versatile condiment. Feel free to halve or quarter this recipe if you don’t feel like chopping up so many onions.
takes: about 70 minutes
1.5kg (3lb) onions
6 tablespoons cheap balsamic vinegar
1. Chop onions in half, lengthwise. Cut off the top and tail and peel the skins. Slice onions into thin half moon shapes.
2. Heat about 6 tablespoons oil in a large pot and fry the onions, covered over a medium low heat until the onions are super soft. About 40 minutes.
3. Remove the lid and add balsamic, cook the onions uncovered on a medium heat until the onions are well browned and caramelised. Another 15-20 minutes.
4. Taste & season. And pack into a super clean glass jar while still hot.
different vinegar – by all means replace the balsamic with a cheaper vinegar. Malt vinegar would be lovely just start with about 3 tablespoons and add from there.
thyme – if you have access to a garden with fresh thyme, a few sprigs add a lovely fragrance.
rosemary – if you have access to a garden with fresh rosemary, a few sprigs add a lovely fragrance.
onion jam – for something sweeter and more chutney like, add in about 1/4 cup brown sugar with the balsamic.
with burgers – brilliant instead of or as well as ketchup with a salt crusted burger.
as a spread – on sandwiches, especially grilled cheese.
on a cheeseboard – a different alternative to picked onions or quince paste.
with bangers & mash – an oldie but a goodie! Also great as a slow carb alternative.
soups & stews – stir in a few tablespoons to add richness and instant depth of flavour.
Absolutely. Takes about 70 minutes. I like to make up a big batch to have on hand during the week.
Storage Best Practices
Store in a glass jar or airtight container. If you use a super clean jar and pack the onions in while hot, they’ll keep in the fridge for months. Covering with a little olive oil can help prevent mold growth. Can be frozen for up to 12 months.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
onions, balsamic – pantry.
Problem Solving Guide
too bland? – add in a little more vinegar and salt. And keep cooking until you have lovely caramelised flavours.
bitter – this means you’ve either burnt the onions too much or the vinegar is overpowering. Try adding a little white sugar to balance but it may not help the situation if it’s gone too far.
watery eyes – the hardest part is definitely chopping the onions. Pop a slice of bread in your mouth to hang down while you chop the onions. It’s weird but I’ll guarantee you no tears every time..
short on time – try slicing the onions in the food processor and try a higher heat for the first cooking stage, just keep a super close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn too much.
back to: The Mastering the Art of Cooking on a Budget Overview Page