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How to Make Onion Confit

How to Make Onion Confit

How to Make Onion Confit

Onion confit is a delicious sweet-savory onion jam originating from France. It’s great in warm sandwiches, omelets, and on grilled beef or lamb.

A classic French cooking technique, to confit means preserve food with salt, sugar, acid, fat, or anything with preservative qualities. We most commonly associate confit with duck, wherein duck legs are preserved in fat, but that’s not all this technique has to offer.

When I was las in Paris I bought a jar of confit d’oignons an incredibly delicious sweet-savory onion jam. It was great in warm sandwiches, omelets, and on grilled red meat. I put it on literally everything and thus it was finished before I could say petit déjeuner.

Confit onion can be found in specialty food stores stateside, too, but it’s just as easily made from scratch. The key things to remember when making it are: to keep the heat very low while cooking the onions, to stir the onions frequently, and not to let them brown.


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Step by Step Guide to Making Onion Confit


Prepare Your Ingredients:

  • Start by gathering all your ingredients. Having everything within arm’s reach makes the process smooth and enjoyable.
  • Thinly slice your 2 medium yellow onions. Aim for uniform slices to ensure even cooking (yeah, we know, the onion in the photo was NOT sliced nearly as well as it was supposed to. We blame the wine.

Begin the Caramelization Process:

  • Set Up the Skillet: In a large skillet, combine 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. This mix of butter and olive oild not only imparts rich flavor but also ensures that the onions don’t burn.
  • Heat and Add Onions: Switch on the stove and set it to a low flame. Once the butter melts and the mixture is warm, introduce your thinly sliced onions.
  • Season: Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp of sea salt. This helps in drawing out moisture from the onions, intensifying the flavors as they cook.
  • Stir and Monitor: Let the onions cook, giving them an occasional stir. They should become soft and translucent over a span of 15-20 minutes. A good sign to watch for is the onions turning a soft golden hue. If you notice the onions drying out at any point, add a tablespoon of water. This ensures they remain moist and prevents burning.

Add Sweetness and Tang:

  • Sweeten the Mix: Sprinkle in 1 tbsp of granulated sugar. This will help with the caramelization and provide a sweet counterpoint to the tanginess that’s about to come.
  • Introduce Vinegar and Caraway Seeds: Pour in 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. If you’re opting to use the caraway seeds (and I’d recommend it for an added depth of flavor), toss in your 1/2 tsp now.

Final Touches and Storage:

  • Final Caramelization: Continue to simmer the onions over the low heat, stirring every now and then. Watch as they turn into a beautifully caramelized, pasty consistency in about 15 minutes.
  • Cool and Store: Allow the onion confit to cool down a bit before transferring it to an airtight container. It can comfortably reside in your fridge for up to a week, ready to elevate any dish you add it to.

How to Make Onion Confit


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How to Make Onion Confit

How to Make Onion Confit


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  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 1/2 cups 1x

Description

Onion confit is both one of the easiest and most sophisticated condiments you will ever make.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)

Instructions

Prepare Your Ingredients:

  • Start by gathering all your ingredients. Having everything within arm’s reach makes the process smooth and enjoyable.
  • Thinly slice your 2 medium yellow onions. Aim for uniform slices to ensure even cooking.

Begin the Caramelization Process:

  • Set Up the Skillet: In a large skillet, combine 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil. This combo not only imparts rich flavor but also ensures that the onions don’t burn.
  • Heat and Add Onions: Switch on the stove and set it to a low flame. Once the butter melts and the mixture is warm, introduce your thinly sliced onions.
  • Season: Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp of sea salt. This helps in drawing out moisture from the onions, intensifying the flavors as they cook.
  • Stir and Monitor: Let the onions cook, giving them an occasional stir. They should become soft and translucent over a span of 15-20 minutes. A good sign to watch for is the onions turning a soft golden hue. If you notice the onions drying out at any point, add a tablespoon of water. This ensures they remain moist and prevents burning.

Add Sweetness and Tang:

  • Sweeten the Mix: Sprinkle in 1 tbsp of granulated sugar. This will help with the caramelization and provide a sweet counterpoint to the tanginess that’s about to come.
  • Introduce Vinegar and Caraway Seeds: Pour in 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. If you’re opting to use the caraway seeds (and I’d recommend it for an added depth of flavor), toss in your 1/2 tsp now.

Final Touches and Storage:

    • Final Caramelization: Continue to simmer the onions over the low heat, stirring every now and then. Watch as they turn into a beautifully caramelized, pasty consistency in about 15 minutes.
    • Cool and Store: Allow the onion confit to cool down a bit before transferring it to an airtight container. It can comfortably reside in your fridge for up to a week, ready to elevate any dish you add it to.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Confit
  • Cuisine: French
View Comments (5)
    • Hi Christine.

      Technically, yes. But whenever freezing any food, the texture will lose some of its integrity.

      If you do choose to freeze the confit, do so in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw out in the refrigerator before using.

      Thanks!

  • Mix the onion confit with a little honey and serve with soft burrata or other cow’s milk cheese and some pistachios. Heaven!

  • Hi, thanks for posting this wonderful looking recipe! And it sounds easy too!
    My only question is what do you mean by “pasty and caramelized”?
    To me caramelized means browned but pasty means white.
    Or do you mean the onions seam to stick together like they were pasted?
    Can’t wait to try this!

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