Gift the Onions

There is nothing more humble than an onion really. It grows in the dirt. It almost always gets the bottom shelf closest to the floor, and if you are low on cash, an onion lights up in neon.

For the holidays, would you rather have:

a shirt that was picked out in a sweat

a pack of Wrigley’s

chopsticks that are attached at the top

onion confit

I would go for the confit.
Nobody has the time to make a proper confit, unless it is their job, and even then, people don’t take the time. You can eat it with a pork roast, a plain baked potato, or on a tiny slice of baguette with a good gruyere.
A brilliant idea would be to sterilize jars and can the confit, so that it didn’t have to be refrigerated until opened. I only have the tiniest notion about how to do that, so google that part.

Confit I know.

Buy as many onions as the number of pans you have permits. Onions shrink considerably as they cook, but when you are starting, they take up a lot of room. In a ten inch saute pan, you should be able to fit 8-10. Start with a spill of your best olive oil and a few tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a few sprigs of parsley and a bay leaf. Just heat them up a little–no color. Add the onions and give them a good stir. Don’t be shy about adding more butter if you need it. You want the onions to caramelize, but you don’t want them to burn. Your flame should be about medium and your pan should be heavy. Add another bay leaf and 2 whole cloves. Caramelize the onions slowly–for about 45 minutes–with a few good pinches of salt and sugar. When the onions have collapsed, give them a pour of balsamic. No more than 2 tablespoons.
Let the vinegar reduce, and then start adding water, about 2-3 tablespoons at a time. Give it a grind of black pepper; just enough to support the onions, not so they taste like pepper. Keep simmering. The whole process will take about four hours. At the end, when you taste them, they should be so good it brings you nearly to tears.

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