Onions are a very versatile food. While they often form the aromatic base for other recipes, you can also make them the star of the show. With so many varieties to choose from, you'll find a recipe with onions that is bound to be a family favorite.
Three Onion Recipes
Whether onions serve as an accompaniment, such as in liver and onions, or they are the star of the show, these recipes make the most of this wonderful ingredient.
Balsamic Glazed Cipollini Onions
Cipollini onions are a small, flat, sweet Italian onion. They are delicious and mild when paired with a balsamic glaze.
- 2 pounds peeled small cipollini onions
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Melt butter over medium high heat in a 12" sauté pan until it foams.
- Add whole onions to the pan, turning with tongs to brown on all sides.
- Add water, sugar, and balsamic vinegar to the pan, carefully scraping any browned bits of onion off the bottom.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan.
- Simmer until onions are soft, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pan and allow the liquid to continue to simmer until it reduces to a syrup.
- Stir in rosemary and salt and serve.
Caramelized onions make a great accompaniment to many dishes. Serve them atop a hamburger or stir them into mashed potatoes for a delicious treat.
- 4 medium onions, peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoons clarified butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Dash salt
- Heat butter over medium high heat until it bubbles.
- Add onions and stir, sautéeing until they begin to soften.
- Add sugar.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook onions, stirring occasionally, until onions turn a deep golden brown. This process can take as long as 45 minutes.
- Season with a dash of salt.
Braised Beef Short Ribs with Red Onions and Bacon
In this recipe, the onions balance with the short ribs for a delicious meal.
- 5 pounds beef short ribs
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 5 slices pepper bacon, cut into pieces
- 3 red onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 can Guinness stout beer or similar dark beer
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 recipe mashed turnips and potatoes, or mashed potatoes
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper.
- In a large, ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp.
- Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Brown short ribs in bacon fat, browning deeply on all sides.
- Remove ribs to a platter. Stir onions into hot bacon fat and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook to remove raw flour taste, 2-3 minutes.
- Add vinegar to pan, scraping bottom to remove any browned bits of meat or onions.
- Add beer and beef broth.
- Return bacon and short ribs to the pan.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add chopped thyme.
- Remove from heat and cover pan. Move to oven and cook, about two hours, until ribs are very tender.
- To serve, place ribs on mashed potatoes and spoon onions and sauce over the top.
Slicing onions makes you shed tears because it releases a gas that interacts with moisture in the air to produce a very weak solution of sulfuric acid. This stings and causes your eyes to tear up to help flush out the source of the stinging sensation. The best solution to stinging eyes is to cut, chop, or dice them entirely under water.
Once you've chopped them for your onion recipe, however, your hands are covered with their juice and the smell will linger even if you wash with soap. The best way to remove onion odor on your skin is to chop some celery. The celery juice will neutralize the scent.
Onions Add Flavorful Flair to Dishes
Onions also form the flavor base of many dishes. When diced and combined with carrots and celery (1/2 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery), you have a classic mirepoix that serves as the flavor base for many soups, stews, and casseroles. Even if you don't like onions by themselves, chances are they are in many of the dishes you prepare. With their powerful flavor, the add their own unique flare to dishes from many cuisines around the world.