med/large onions – about 250g ea
15 g butter OR 1 tablespoon of olive oil (healthier and still delicious) per onion
pinch of salt
~ Peel the onions, halve them lengthways and thinly slice into half moons.
~ Heat the butter or oil in a small pan with a lid and toss and separate the sliced onions in the fat to coat.
~ Sprinkle with a little salt.
~ Press something appropriate (a piece of foil, a piece of baking parchment, greaseproof paper or a butter wrapper) directly onto the onions to cover completely. Try not to burn yourself on the side of the pan.
~ Turn the heat down to low and put the lid on the pot. The onions should not so much fry in the butter as gently steam in it.~ Cook slowly until the onions are soft enough to cut with the edge of a wooden spoon. You can stir once or twice during this time - they will take about 30 minutes.
They are now melty and delicious and quite sweet too because of the natural sugars in the onions. To enhance this sweetness a little more, when the onions are completely soft, take off the lid, turn up the heat and cook on high for a few minutes stirring constantly until the onions begin to caramelise and just start sticking on the bottom of the pan.
These can now be used without further ado to enhance many simple dishes – add to sandwiches, burgers, steaks etc. etc. and can also be used as the basis of lots of other dishes such as Luxurious yet Traditional Bread Sauce. They keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and are a useful standby so don’t worry about making too many.
My sister Maggie (now of the lovely Art Café and Cake Hole) and I used to call this method “soubising”, I think "soubise" is a real word, possibly French and it’s even possible that it may have something to do with onions. I’m not sure that it is used as a verb but to us it is a doing word.
And leftover Soubised Onions? Add them to gravy, shepherd’s pie, when deglazing a pan after cooking steak, sautéed mushrooms, cheese on toast, sandwiches, omelettes, pizzas etc.