Confit of Onions and Red Wine

  • Serves

    serves 4-6

Because these onions are cooked in so much olive oil and butter, the confit keeps well, covered and stored in the refrigerator, for up to one week. And like most confits, it improves with age. Leftovers can be used on warm open-faced sandwiches or in quiche.


  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 medium yellow onions, sliced very thin
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Coarse or kosher salt
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 12 cups full-bodied red wine (e.g., montepulciano or cabernet sauvignon)


Step 1

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy-based pan over low heat. Add the onions, season with the sugar and salt to taste, and stir to coat with the oil and butter. Add the thyme sprigs and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. The trick to this recipe is to cook the onion as slowly and gently as possible so it releases all its liquid and softens without coloring. Once the onion becomes silky and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes, add the red wine and reduce for 35 to 45 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally. The onion will begin to bind with the sugar and wine, caramelizing to a ruby-colored confit. Remove the thyme stems, adjust the seasoning, and serve warm.

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