Caramelised Onions are certainly good news but, gosh, what a boring task to cook them. Standing over the stove stirring and stirring until the cows come home. Surely this is a job for the trusty slow cooker? Yes! A slow cooker can cook onions low and slow until they reach caramelised perfection.
Simple. Fill the cooker with enough sliced onions to make it half or three-quarters full, about three to six onions depending on the size of your slow cooker. Put the lid on, set the timer for the longest, slowest time allowed, and let those onions simmer away.
It’s almost impossible to overcook these onions, but I’ve found that 10 hours makes soft, lightly browned onions that still have a bit of bite. These are perfect for adding to soups and topping focaccia. For more deeply caramelised, jammier onions, continue cooking for another few hours, but this time leave the lid ajar so the liquid can evaporate. Any liquid remaining after cooking is fantastic added your next soup, stew or risotto.
Given the very long cooking time, I’ve found that it’s easiest to let the onions cook overnight. Choose a night when you’ll be around in the morning in case you want to cook the onions an extra few hours.
When it comes to freezing a portion of your batch, freeze them in containers of multiple sizes – ice cubes of caramelised onions are great for toppings, cup-sized portions for pizza and pasta, larger containers to throw the onions directly in a soup.
Even if you don’t have immediate plans for your caramelised onions, having a few bags stashed away in the freezer is never a bad thing. Be prepared. You never know when those onions will save the day — and your dinner.