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woodburner

Onion Confit

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I've read about the techniques, but I still have some questions. Cooking time varies anywhere from 2 hours at a slow cook, up to overnight in a 200 degree oven. Now those are some wild swings.

What do you suggest?

woodburner

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I've done both and each works equally well.

I prefer the stove-top method only so I can watch and stir them now and then, but when time is a factor, I'll put them in an oven overnight.

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I've done both and each works equally well.

I prefer the stove-top method only so I can watch and stir them now and then, but when time is a factor, I'll put them in an oven overnight.

Would you consider "marmalade consistency" to be accurate?

Thank you for the help Carolyn.

woodburner


Edited by woodburner (log)

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St. Julia recommends a Crock-Pot.

(Actually, so do I, but her advice probably carries a little more weight.)

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Ok, I'm happy to show my ignorance here. What's an onion confit and what do you use it for? :blink:

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I am interested in that answer too. I have always understood a confit to be something cooked in is own fat. But you see onion or mushroom or fennel confit quite often.

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Isn't this just another way of saying "caramelized"?

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Ok, I'm happy to show my ignorance here. What's an onion confit and what do you use it for? :blink:

Use to accompany grilled meats. I guess :laugh:

Honestly, I had never heard of it before until reading one of the recent threads regarding new rest. openings in NYC.

woodburner

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I think the term 'confit' is beginning to get used quite a bit more for items that are cooked "in their own juices/or fat". For onions, caramelized is also a correct phrase except that onion confit is, as Woodburner described, like the consistency of marmalade; thick and gooey -- whereas just "caramelized" onions can still be quite firm but golden.

I do a number of things with onion confit -- it is the base for Alsation Onion Tarts (pate brisee topped with onion confit, gruyere cheese, perhaps a few Nicoise olives, and/or anchovies).

Also, in making a confit, during the last half hour, I might add a good balsamic or red-wine vinegar. THAT simple confit served on tasted baguette slices are an amazing appetizer (and amazingly cheep).

The confit makes a great accompaniament to baked brie or fried goat-cheese.

When I see Vidalia onions on sale cheap, I will buy a ten-pound bag, slice up the lot of them, and reduce them into a confit that keeps pretty well in the fridge for a week or two. It DOES need to be brought to room temperature, but on really cold, winter nights, I've been known to heat up some canned beef bouillon and add a tablespoon of confit for "instant French Onion soup."

Hope this helps!

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Yes that helps thanks! And based on that recipe you're using woodburner, I'd probably use my slow cooker. I can't imagine leaving my oven on for 24 hours!

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I am interested in that answer too. I have always understood a confit to be something cooked in is own fat. But you see onion or mushroom or fennel confit quite often.

I think that was the original definition, but it's sort of evolved to mean anything slow cooked in lots of fat.

Hey, bright idea -- consult the Oxford Companion:

...a term that comes from the French verb confire, 'preserve.' Meat, typically goose, duck, pork, or turkey, is cooked in its own fat, covered in its own fat, and then preserved in a pot.

Ok, so much for Davidson. It's one of those words whose definition no longer fits its meaning.

My favorite, very favorite, is tomato confit. Gives me shivers just thinking about it.

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Onion confit=pork chop's best friend. Well, do you prefer to cook the onions in butter or olive oil?

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I am interested in that answer too.  I have always understood a confit to be something cooked in is own fat.  But you see onion or mushroom or fennel confit quite often.

I think that was the original definition, but it's sort of evolved to mean anything slow cooked in lots of fat.

Hey, bright idea -- consult the Oxford Companion:

...a term that comes from the French verb confire, 'preserve.' Meat, typically goose, duck, pork, or turkey, is cooked in its own fat, covered in its own fat, and then preserved in a pot.

Ok, so much for Davidson. It's one of those words whose definition no longer fits its meaning.

My favorite, very favorite, is tomato confit. Gives me shivers just thinking about it.

Exactly.

Upon further investigation you will find that the onion confit, after properly cooked, can be "canned" under sterile procedures, with the shelf life being 9 or 10 months.

Lest, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :wink:

woodburner


Edited by woodburner (log)

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I did this in a crockpot a couple of years ago when I ended up with a bag of onions unintentionlly. (Don't ask. :biggrin: ) I thought I would have ready made caramelized onions for whatever use. They didn't taste the same at all. They weren't bad, just not the same flavor as when I caramelize onions for onion soup. I didn't know I was making confit. :laugh:

I wouldn't waste vidalias or other sweet onions on this. Strong onions cook up sweeter as they have more "stuff" that converts to sugar. My rule is sweet oninons = raw, strong onions = cooked.

That linked recipe looks pretty good but I would leave out the sugar. I can also think of other flavor notes to add. I am currently on a fennel binge. Fennel seeds would be good.

In a crock pot, do you do it on high or low? I don't remember what I did before. The house sure smelled good.

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Onion confit=pork chop's best friend. Well, do you prefer to cook the onions in butter or olive oil?

Both

woodburner

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Onion confit=pork chop's best friend. Well, do you prefer to cook the onions in butter or olive oil?

Both

woodburner

Me too -- equal amounts of butter and olive oil.

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Yes, actually equal amounts olive oil & butter are best...and I do put just a sprinkle of sugar to help out the sweetness a bit. Once you have the onions properly carmelized, try mixing a portion with some blue cheese(Stilton is good in this) and smearing it on a bagette.

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Yes, actually equal amounts olive oil & butter are best...and I do put just a sprinkle of sugar to help out the sweetness a bit. Once you have the onions properly carmelized, try mixing a portion with some blue cheese(Stilton is good in this) and smearing it on a bagette.

This also makes a killer topping for pasta. Add some balsamic and you're in business.

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My secret to confit is a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper, a heaping tablespoon of turbinado and an half-hour or so before it is finished, a big ol' sprig (or two) of fresh thyme.

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Actually, confit is the past participle of confire, to conserve or preserve or pickle. Think "confiture" aka jam. Doesn't have to be with fat, with sugar, to be confit. (Although I must say that versions having nothing to do with preservation drive my 10-years-of-French-study sensibilities up a wall. :angry:)

And when I make anything like the items already mentioned, I DO "conserve" them, in sealed jars in the bottom of the fridge, or in the freezer.

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I made a chard/onion panade last night (Zuni Cafe CkBk) that called for 1 1/2 lbs of caramelized onions. Had I had some of the onion marmalade I usually keep on hand in the freezer, I could have saved myself a lengthy step. (Storing it flat in ziplocks allows for quick defrosting.)

I don't think the texture is quite as good after it's been frozen, but it's nice having a few ziplocks of it on hand. I also usually have some frozen dough in the fridge/freezer. Together they make for quick last minute treats for entertaining.

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Had to do this. As I type, 6 white onions, butter, olive oil, a sprinkling of white pepper, 3 bay leaves and 3 sprigs of thyme are starting to heat up in the crockpot. I also threw in a 1/2 cup of beef demiglace because it was sitting in its little jar in the freezer door and said... Use me. Please... use me.

So I started it on high with the lid on. Do I leave it on high? Leave the lid on after it gets going?

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OK guys... How long is this supposed to take in a crock pot? I had to go out for a couple of hours so I turned it to low and left the lid on. I figured that was the safest thing to do since I really don't know what I am doing. :biggrin:

Got home and the onions are just starting to cook. eGads the onions gave up a lot of liquid. (Remember, the only liquid I added was a 1/2 cup of demiglace. I don't count the butter and oil of course.) Now I have turned it up to high and taken the lid off. This puppy looks like it has a long way to go to get the liquid concentrated down to where I have that marmalade consistency and for there to be some browning going on. HELP! Do I just leave it on and go to bed?

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Gosh, fifi, I'm sorry I didn't see this until now, or I'd have warned you. This is an all-night thing, on low. As in, set it up after the dinner dishes are done, and it will be ready for breakfast.

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