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.


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.


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.


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.


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