Ted and I went for a fancy date night to Cantine, a new-ish restaurant in town (everything is new when you have a baby!!), and one of our favorite dishes was an appetizer - fried goat cheese with red onion jam, honey, and black pepper. YUM!!!! I figured I may as well look up how hard it is to make onion jam because, let's be real, we're not going on fancy dates all the time anymore!
Turns out, it's SO EASY! We made it last week so we could eat it with pretzel rolls and bratwurst (it was a perfect pairing, by the way), but last night I ate some more with honey goat cheese and a baguette, and that is also an excellent combo. I have to come up with a few more ideas because I'm not quite sure how long it lasts (I'm estimating a week?) but I REALLY want to eat it because it's so tasty! And in case you are wondering, no, it does not give you awful breath like eating 4 raw red onions might do - it cooks them down to leave just with oniony flavor and sweetness. All the taste without the bite!
The recipe yields 2 Mason jars' worth of jam. I made a few slight tweaks to the recipe which are noted below.
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 large red onions, halved, peeled, and cut into thin (1/4-inch) slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry red wine
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1-2 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp butter
In a medium saute pan, heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the onions are soft, 3 to 5 minutes, and then add the red wine. Continue on a medium to medium-high heat and cook the onions until the wine reduces almost completely. Leave on low heat while you prepare the gastrique.
In a separate small pan, heat the honey until it begins to bubble and froth. Cook until the honey turns a light caramel color, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine vinegar, simmer for a few minutes on low heat, and then shut off the heat. Pour the honey mixture over the onions and continue cooking them over low heat until all of the juice is absorbed and the onions are a jam-like consistency, 20-45 minutes. Add the sugar and butter at this point. Taste for seasoning and transfer to a bowl or jar. Once cooled enough, cover and store in the refrigerator until serving.