Earthy, flavorful caramelized shallots make a wonderful side dish to meat. They are incredibly delicious and quite easy to make.
The flavor profile of this dish is so complex, so interesting. It's always amazing to me how cooking changes onions, and this is true for shallots too, of course. Any hint of sharpness is gone, and instead, you get this wonderful, creamy sweetness. It's like magic!
These caramelized shallots are wonderful. They are earthy, very flavorful, and surprisingly sweet, yet savory.
What's the difference between shallots and onions?
Shallots are a member of the allium family, just like onions and garlic. But they are noticeably milder than onions, and their flavor is richer and sweeter. I actually like them better than I like onions.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Unsalted butter: I love using European butter, it's so flavorful. But any butter will be great in this recipe.
Peeled whole shallots: You can find shallots in the supermarkets right next to the onions.
Balsamic vinegar: I like to use a 5-year aged vinegar when cooking, which is actually considered fairly young.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Chopped parsley: I use it mostly for garnish, so it's not mandatory. But it does add a nice splash of color to the otherwise brownish dish.
How to make caramelized shallots
They are very easy to make! I lightly adapted this recipe from Ina Garten's recipe.
It's simple, really. Fresh shallots are roasted in butter and balsamic vinegar to create a unique, intense flavor experience. Roasting really brings out the natural sweetness of the shallots.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your very first step is to cook the shallots in butter in an ovenproof skillet until browned.
2. Next, you add the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
3. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the shallots until tender, about 20 minutes in a 400°F oven.
4. Spoon the yummy cooking liquid on top of the shallots and serve them.
How to serve caramelized shallots
They are truly versatile - they make a wonderful side dish to any meat. I often serve them as a side to beef tenderloin roast. They are also good with baked pork chops and with grilled chicken tenders.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave on 50% power prior to serving.
This is one of those recipes where the leftovers truly taste good - almost as good as the freshly made dish. I sometimes chop them up and mix them into an omelet the next day for my breakfast, with a bit of shredded gruyere cheese. Yum!
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- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lb. fresh whole shallots, peeled (6 medium shallots)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large oven-proof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are browned, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake 20-30 minutes, until shallots are fork-tender. Divide between plates, spoon the sauce on top, and sprinkle with parsley.