Caramelised Onions

caramelised onions

Caramelised Onions

makes heaps

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.

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 and cook the onions, uncovered on a medium heat until the onions are well browned and caramelised. Another 15-20 minutes.

4. Taste & season.

Prepare Ahead

Given these take about an hour to prepare, they’re definitely a do-ahead item.

Leftover Potential

Will keep for a fe months in the fridge. Longer if you store in sealed, sterilised jars.


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.

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.

Serving Suggestions

Makes a great accompaniment to pretty much all meat and poultry. Also great with hard cheese or as a dip.

Ingredients List

onions, vinegar, salt

Serving Suggestions

as a sauce – serves as a sauce to cooked meat, sausages, fried tofu, or roast vegetables.

in salads – lovely tossed into salads. Especially more hearty earthy salads made with lentils or roast vegetables.

in stews and soups – serve a spoonful of onions on top of soups and stews to give depth.

delux cheese on toast – serve grilled cheese on toast with a generous topping of these onions.

on pizza – sprinkle onions over cooked potato pizza.

cheese board –serve a little bowl of these with your favourite cheeses instead of fruit or quince paste.


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