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How to Make Onion Confit. Slow Cooked Sweet Onion "Jam"

Updated on October 22, 2008

Try more won't be sorry!

Sweet sweet onion confit (look ma – no hands)

It's those little jars of homemade concoction that take elevate everyday workaday cooking to something pretty special. Schmear a spoonful of this long slow cooked confit onto a toasted baguette, onto a simply grilled pork-chop or serve with some nicely poached eggs and you'll see what I'm talking about…

The nice thing (besides the unbelievable flavor, of course) about this confit too is that it is unbelievably easy – and once you've moved beyond the tears of onion slicing, all the hard work is behind you!

This takes a looooong time to cook – but it's really effortless, and the bulk of the transformation occurs as you rest asleep in bed, overnight.

Sweet onion confit

  • 4 large cooking onions, sliced (you can actually use whatever onion you want here, but a little known fact is that so called "sweet" onions, such as Vidalia or Spanish varietals, actually have less sugar within. You end up with a sweeter and more "jammy" confit with regular old cooking onions…and you'll save a few bucks while you're at it!)
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil or butter, or a combination of the two (I like the combination model the best)
  • ½ cup of beef or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Easy steps to sweet sweet onions...

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Heat the oil and or oil and butter up over medium low in an oven safe Dutch oven, or other heavy and similar casserole, and sauté for about 10 minutes or just until the juices start emerging from the sliced onions. You are not looking to color the onion slices.
  3. Add the stock (or you can substitute reduced red or white wine), salt and bay leaves, cover the pot tightly, and slide into the pre heated oven.
  4. Let cook gently for 8-12 hours
  5. Remove from oven. The confit should have the consistency of a jam or marmalade. If it's still too liquid, let cook another hour with the lid removed.
  6. Taste for salt, and if desired you can add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

These are perfect for a slow overnight cooking – getting them into the oven in the late evening, and having them ready in the morning for a Sunday brunch over eggs. It takes a long time, but this confit will last for a week or more in the fridge, and you'll never have a problem dealing with leftovers!


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I would say you have to pressure can them, because there's not enough acid to make sure they'll be sterilized in a water bath canner.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      8 years ago

      I don't see why not, but then again, I'm not much of a canner so you'd be wise to check with someone more knowledgeable than me here.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Could you then put these in a water bath canner and keep?

    • BizzyMuse profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California

      I was drooling reading this! I can think of so many uses for it. I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!


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