You know that cool hat that goes with everything? This is the food equivalent. These golden onions make a sweet side for steaks, are the ideal burger or pizza topper, add flavour to pastas and sandwiches, and play nicely with most backyard barbecue faves. The recipe’s flexible, too — if American pale ale (APA) isn’t in your rotation, swap it for your go-to brew. Remember, if you like to drink it, you’ll like to cook with it.
2 tbsp (30 mL) salted butter
4 medium or large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) salt (approx), divided
1 cup (250 mL) American pale ale, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) packed brown sugar (approx)
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
Pour in 1/2 cup (125 mL) ale and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost no liquid remains, about 10 minutes.
Pour in remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) ale and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until no liquid remains and onions have begun to darken slightly, 20 to 25 minutes.
Stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar and remaining 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt.
Option 1 (light golden onions): Cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and brown sugar, if desired; stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Option 2 (dark golden onions): Cook, without stirring for several minutes at a time (to allow onions to stick slightly to pot and caramelize further), until one-quarter to one-third of the onions are deep brown, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and brown sugar, if desired; stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Cooking concentrates a brew’s flavours, making them stronger and brighter. That’s why it’s important to choose a beer that you find really tasty.
You can cook the onions ahead and refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Reheat them for a few minutes in a pan over medium-low heat right before serving.