Stock up on onions because you are about to have a serious addiction. Caramelized onions are stupid easy to make and go on everything. That’s right, everything.
Serve on burgers or sandwiches to add a deep and sweet flavor that happens to go really well with blue cheese. Top salads and baked potatoes with golden onion strings to add texture and meatiness to light meals. Fold the onions into pasta dishes & dips to make them stretch and serve a crowd, or pile caramelized onions onto pizza for a sophisticated and gourmet topping.
When making caramelized onions I have two secret weapons: A well-seasoned cast iron pan & a bit of beer jelly. It is important for the pan to be hot because it creates the initial char or caramelization that is the building block for flavor. The flavor of the jelly is all personal preference. I like to use a mild beer jelly like Green Mountain Ale or Apricot Ale but dark beer jelly, coffee jelly, balsamic jelly, or even pepper jelly would be awesome too.
You might note that I have used no fat/oil and like to cook my onions on a high heat. I do not find the added fat to be necessary because I use a cast iron pan. If it starts to burn just a bit I am a-ok with that because I LOVE the full flavor or charred & grilled foods.
I have made these multiple times. Sometimes I make these on the stove top, sometimes I place the pan onto the hot grill, and sometimes I even add things like mushrooms and garlic to the mix. I don’t think you can go wrong. If the mix gets too thick or sticks to the pan, thin it down with a teensy bit of beer or water. This is called deglazing and will allow you to scrape up all the yummy goodness from the pan.
Jelly Caramelized Onions
(serves 1 onion lover)
1 large onion
1 Tbs beer jelly (or wine jelly, balsamic jelly, pepper jelly, etc)
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the onions into 1/4-1/8” medium thick rings.
Heat a cast iron or other heavy bottomed pan until very hot. Spread the onions thinly across the bottom of the pan. The onions should sizzle as soon as they hit the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the onions begin to blacken & caramelize (this will take 2-3 minutes depending on your pan), use a wooden spoon to stir them. Cook for 1-2 minutes more and then add jelly to the hot pan. Stir the onions until they become soft a deep golden brown.
Now that you have mastered the Jelly Caramelized Onion, whip yourself up a Turkey Mushroom Burger to put those babies on.