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Braised Pearl Onions


Readers Dearest,
In a few short hours, I will be heading off for an all-too-short but nonetheless-exciting week-long vacation. While this means awesomeness for me, you’re probably not as excited. Here’s something to perk up your day: the post below is about a recipe that’s delicious and easy to make, best combo ever. Also, I’ve done my best to stick a couple posts in the wings, so as to keep you entertained and sated in my absence. Keep reading — more importantly, keep cooking — and I’ll be back in no time.

You can stop reading now if you’re an onion hater. Clearly, this isn’t for you. Where were we? Ah yes, pearl onions. They’re baby onions, basically. They’re a bit larger than pearls — at least, any pearls I can afford — but they’re certainly elegant. They come in red, yellow, and white — just like large onions — and you can get all three colors mixed together at Trader Joe’s.


Pearl onions make an effortless side and a perfect complement to a beef main course. The only annoying (ahem, time intensive) part of preparing them is that you need to peel off their skins individually. It’s a pain, I admit, but the results are worth it. Basically, you blanch them in boiling water for about 60 seconds, until the skins turn soft. Then you peel off each skin — one by measly one — until you have some naked little onions ready for baking. Then, in a frying pan big enough to hold them, you heat up a bit of olive oil til hot, drop in the onions, saute until fragrant. Add a couple cups of red wine, a couple Tablespoons brown sugar (1 Tbsp per cup) and some salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until wine is reduced by about half. Taste and adjust: does it need more sugar? More salt? You decide. They really are that easy.

File this under recipe-free cooking…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sylvie February 12, 2009,

    Well, I’m an onion lover and the recipe looks perfect. Enjoy your trip!