Caramelized Red Onion Butter
You’re only as good as your condiments. This recipe involves making a compound butter. Flavoring butter in advance gives us a chance to perfume its fat and allows for a quick and easy-to-use condiment. A chance to add maximal flavor with minimal effort.
What to drink
A bottle of any of our Cabernet Sauvignons or Fog Catcher would be a great match for this butter when served on top of a Grilled New York Strip Steak. In fact, we use a similar preparation on our steak frites which we’ve served with Fog Catcher. We’re using the same philosophy here — the wine is the sauce. Cook well, season simply and adequately, and let the food and wine play off of each other as you enjoy.
Recipe for the home cook follows
1 lb. quality butter
2t olive oil
1 lb. sliced red onions
3x garlic clove, minced
1t mustard (whole grain or dijon… just not yellow hot dog mustard)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 t chopped parsley (optional)
Temper butter at room temperature until soft, 30 – 60 minutes. In a large surfaced pan or skillet, pour in oil and onions and season with salt. Turn heat to medium-low: starting “cold” allows more time to slowly cook onions and then caramelize their sugars. Seasoning early with salt pulls out a little moisture and slows the caramelization. In the restaurant, we would cover the pan too to slow things down even more- using condensation as an ally.
Stir onions periodically, adding a touch more oil if needed (if onions start to stick and pan sizzles get a little louder). Once onions are soft and start to color (10 – 15min) add in the garlic. Add a pinch more salt (“food in the pan, salt in the pan” cooking school mantra for “season as you go”) and turn down the heat if needed. Continue to cook for 10 – 15 minutes longer until onions completely melt and are well caramelized. We want to take the time to really coax out as much of that bitter-sweet oniony goodness as we can. Once you’re happy with your onions, set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a mixing bowl (by hand or machine) combine the soft butter, onions and garlic, mustard, and seasonings. Mix well until homogenous.
Lay out a sheet of parchment or foil. Spoon out butter mixture onto wrapper and proceed to roll into a log. Seal up and store in refrigerator. For longer storage, slice the chilled log of butter and place in freezer bag and freeze- pulling out a pieces as needed.
A note from the Chef
For the most part, we’re all working with the same ingredients…. carrots, onions, beef, pasta, etc. How you choose to dress up those raw ingredients is where your personality and skill as a cook comes through — and shows what separates you from your neighbor.
Weekday meal ideas
Grilled New York strip topped with the butter
Toss with roasted carrots or winter squash (we do this, adding little more mustard and tarragon, as a side dish)
Topping for a baked potato or boiled potatoes
Toss with noodles and top with breadcrumbs and serve with pot roast
Could use to finish pan sauce for chicken, pork or fish