Caramelising onions

Soldato
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I think I'm going to make hot dogs this weekend, so I thought i'd make the effort and do some onions with them too.. how to you people make caramelised onions? It's been an age since i've done it - i've forgotten!

I seem to recall that the most important thing is to salt them (to draw out the moisture) and to cook them really slowly on a low/medium heat. Possibly adding a little sugar as well, to assist with the caramelisation.

Can't remember if it's best to cover them as well, or it's fine doing them in a frying pan?

Tips welcome!
 
Associate
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Chop as many onions as you need, not too small as they will over caramalise and burn
Cook in the largest flatest pan you have on a very low heat with a good amount of nice quality olive oil.

move the onions frequently
 
Soldato
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Chop as many onions as you need, not too small as they will over caramalise and burn
Cook in the largest flatest pan you have on a very low heat with a good amount of nice quality olive oil.

move the onions frequently

This. Don't worry about salting too much, though season a little as usual.

They just need a low heat and some olive oil (not extra virgin).
 
Soldato
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A good tip is to sprinkle a little bicarbonate of soda (just a pinch) on them as the alkali helps the reaction that caramelises the onions.
 
Soldato
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Very low heat, over a long period of time. Splash a bit of water in if they get very dry and crispy.
 
Soldato
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very low heat. Get them as much contact on the pan as possible. Try not to stir too often. They do reduce down a bit but don't overcrowd the pan. I do 2 large ish onions in my 28cm saute pan and they fit nicely.

Takes about 45 mins IIRC. But you can use a sprinkle of soft sugar to get them moving along a bit quicker

Deglaze with a splash of balsamic at the end
 
Man of Honour
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As everyone has said very low heat.
If there's not many in the pan, I chuck a little water in at the start. Just to get them soft. It's not a problem if you have a lot of onions in the pan though.
 
Man of Honour
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Sweeteness works really well, especially combined with a hit of English or any other mustard.m

All personal opinion and it's exactly the same process for less caramelised onions anyway.
 
Man of Honour
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I sometimes put a tiny tiny tiny pinch of sugar in if I'm in a rush. Seems to help.

I'm not sure what the name of the food is but I also love mixing in sugar and balsamic vinegar and reducing down the onions. So delicious.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the tips guys!

Would keeping them covered result in them begin stewed and rather..... minging? lol
 
Man of Honour
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You don't want them to be covered, you want to drive the liquid of.
However saying that starting them under cover is a good idea. It helps soften them initially,
 
Soldato
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Ah gotcha. Right - will see how it goes this weekend, when i'm gorging myself on hot-dogs, thanks :D
 
Soldato
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In the end I decided to put the pan on quite hot, chop the onions medium thick, put loads of vegetable oil in the pan (in hindsight, probably a bit too much), then, after browning them for a few minutes, turned it right down and occasionally stirred them for about 30 mins.... turned out rather yummily :p

Rubbish photo, but this is how they looked towards the end (I cooked them for about another 15 mins after the photo, so they ended up deeper brown and sweeter).

20111008154851.jpg
 
Soldato
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I do mine on the BBQ in a take away tin, lid on for the first 15-20 mins on the keep warm rack (not directly on the grill).

Come out awesome every time. Usually do them on a big tray (with a cardboard lid) these days with mixed peppers and good dash of salt/pepper and olive oil. Makes a lovely garnish for the BBQ food :).
 
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