Caramelized Red Onion

There are various recipes flying around for so-called Red Onion Marmalade or Caramelized Onion. The thing that seems to vary most is the sweetness or otherwise of the recipes. This version was my smashing together of a couple of recipes for a tapas meal. It is slightly sweet and goes very well with chicken or duck livers, either whole or made into a paté.


serves: lots
preparation time: 10 mins
cooking time: 45 mins


  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, halved and finely sliced
  • 150ml red wine
  • 50ml sherry or balsamic vinegar
  • ~8 tsp golden caster sugar
  • Salt


Melt the butter and olive oil together in a heavy-based pan. Add the finely sliced onions and fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to soften but not colour. Add the red wine, vinegar and a little salt. Set this mixture simmering gently until all the liquid has evaporated (it will take about 30 minutes).

While it is cooking, add the sugar a spoonful at a time to adjust the sweetness to your liking. As the evaporation progresses, watch the heat so that it doesn’t catch and burn.

Put the caramelized onion in a bowl and allow to cool.

This is a wonderful topping for live ras part of a tapas meal but it also works with some cheeses and cold meats.

Get a pdf version of this recipe

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