When I need some thinking time I make risotto. That 20 minutes spent at the stove, stirring, adding a spoon of stock then repeating is calming, almost meditative and I gain a delicious meal at the end. If I really need to think I make caramelized onions, they are not quite as hands on as a risotto, but do require at least 75% of your attention and take at least an hour and a half. Thinking and list-writing time a plenty.
As it takes so long, and because the onions reduce to a fraction of their original volume I cook them in bulk, for a batch that filled a large cereal bowl, I used 1.5kg of onions – a mix of white and red.
Simply peel and slice, add a few cloves of garlic and gently sauté in a mixture of olive oil and butter over a low heat. Stir, wait a few minutes and repeat. I used my new Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick wok for this dish (read my review of the pans here). The wok is robust, but lightweight, has two small handles; making it easy to lift as well as more compact for storage, can be used on the hob, in the oven, is PFOA-free and importantly goes in the dishwasher (although the non stick is so good that it is very easy to wash by hand – even after having cooked sticky onions for an hour and a half).
Slowly and surely the volume of onions will start to reduce. Stir, wait then stir and wait again. And repeat.
After about an hour and a half you are left with delicious, perfect, sticky caramelized onions. Spoon them into a bowl and serve with burgers & BBQed foods, add to dips. use as a base for curries, casseroles, stews and soups. Enjoy them as they come with a spoon. If you have leftovers (I doubt you will) you can store in an air tight container in the fridge for a week or freeze.
- 1 tbs good quality olive oil
- 25g butter
- 1½kg onions - peeled and thinly sliced - I used a mix of white and red
- 4 fat cloves garlic - peeled
- Salt & Pepper
- Place the oil and butter in a large non stick pan or wok, place over a low heat and allow to melt.
- Add the onions and garlic and stir well.
- Allow to cook until reduced, brown and caramelized, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent the onions sticking and burning. This may take up to an hour and a half.
- Season well to taste.
The 28cm Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Wok is available from Le Creuset & other retailers RRP £120
Recipe commissioned by Le Creuset. I was also gifted some items from the range. All opinions our own.