Oh I wish I could remember where I saw this technique but it eludes me! Once I saw someone on TV make caramelized onions in a hot and dry cast iron pan and man, they browned fast!
I needed some for this French Onion Pesto I will be making (post coming soon) and did not want to get out the crockpot and wait all day so I got out my cast iron pan instead to see what would happen.
I only needed 1 cup of caramelized onions but one thing I learned from years ago is to make sure to have lots of onions in the pan. They just caramelized better that way.
Get out those onions and slice off the ends. Cut them in half and remove their skins.
Slice thinly into quarter moons and heat up a cast iron frying pan quite hot but do not add oil to it. If you have been treating your cast iron pan properly, there should be a nice thin coating of oil on it already.
Add the onions to the dry pan and stir.
Let them sit a little and then stir again. You will notice that they will brown almost immediately. The dryness of the pan helps evaporate any liquid from the onions causing them to darken.
Just when it looks like it is going to go from browning to burning add some vegetable oil and butter.
Lower the heat to a low medium and let brown, stirring off and on.
Soon they will look like this! Season with some salt before they cool off.
Gorgeous! Perfectly browned caramelized onions in around 20 minutes.
Since I had so much leftover I added them to my weekend treat: perogies!
I think this is how I am going to make caramelized onions from now on. Yes, you do have to wait on them a little but I am too impatient to wait all day for these foodie treasures.