Onion jam must seem like a very odd thing to put on a 30 by 30 list. It’s not a main dish or a dessert, it’s not complicated, and it’s just…well, it’s just a weird thing to add to the list. But, one of the main reasons that I did it is that I used to hate onions. I mean, I would eat things that were cooked with sauteéd onions like soup or what have you. But to eat onions as a condiment or in an obvious form? Uh, no thanks. I didn’t want any raw onions in my salad (I still don’t), please hold the grilled onions with my burger, and you can keep your big chunks of onions in my breakfast potatoes.
At some point, I started warming up to onions. I’m pretty sure it all started with French onion soup, which is now one of my favorite soups, by far. If I could eat a whole crock full of onions, I must like onions, right? (Of course, bread and melted cheese will help me like anything.) At that point I realized that I loved caramelized onions and that onions themselves weren’t half bad. Onion jam, though, still did not sound like my kind of thing. Which is why I forced myself to make it.
And you know what? It’s good. It starts with caramelized onions, so it has to be. I didn’t make mine overly sweet because that just didn’t sound appealing to me at all. I stuck with a more savory application and got the onions drunk on wine and vinegar. (And I know drunk onions are good, because I WILL take those on my burger.) The jam was great on its own, on a slice of bread, and we also used leftovers to make grilled salami and gouda cheese sandwiches one night.
1 Tbsp. butter
2 large or 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 sprig thyme
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat the butter over medium heat and then add the onions and thyme. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar and a little salt, and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until deeply golden brown. Stir in the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking until the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary.