Red onion confit, which is a dish of red onions slowly cooked in butter and balsamic vinegar, makes a wonderful topping for pork chops. Leftovers are tasty mixed into omelets!
How do you feel about raw onions? I’m not a fan. I dislike their sharpness, the unpleasant taste they leave in my mouth. I do use them sparingly in recipes, but I much prefer them cooked.
In this amazing recipe, the onions are gently cooked in butter until very soft, then further caramelized with thick, well-aged balsamic vinegar. The result is buttery, sweet and savory, and the mouthfeel is soft and pleasant.
What is confit?
“Confit” originally means meat slowly cooked in its own fat. But the term loosely applies to any slow-cooked dish, such as this one.
I’m always amazed at how cooking, and especially slow cooking, transforms onions. As mentioned above, I’m not too fond of raw onions – I find them too pungent. But when slowly cooked in butter, they become incredibly mellow and tasty.
The ingredients used in this recipe
You’ll only need four ingredients to make this tasty dish (exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Red onion: I haven’t experimented with using other onion varieties in this recipe.
Butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Balsamic vinegar: I tend to use a 5-year aged vinegar, which is considered young in the world of balsamic vinegars.
How to make red onion confit
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. It’s a very easy recipe, although it does require some patience. The basic steps:
1. You slowly cook sliced red onions in butter until soft.
2. Then add balsamic vinegar and cook to reduce the vinegar.
How to serve it
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat the leftovers gently, in the microwave on 50% power.
I usually keep the leftovers until the next day, then use them in an omelet for my breakfast or lunch.
In fact, one of my favorite omelets (apart from this Chorizo omelet) is the big omelet I make for my lunch the day after a meal of pork chops and red onion confit. I cook the eggs, then fill them with shredded leftover pork chops, leftover confit, and a slice of provolone. It’s so good!
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Red Onion Confit
- 1 large red onion
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
- Peel the onion and slice it very thinly.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 15 minutes.
- Add the vinegar and keep stirring until the onions are well-coated and the liquid evaporates, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve.