Caramelized onions are delicious on a hot roast beef sandwich, a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, atop a baked potato, or stirred into mashed potatoes... among other things. I decided I would caramelize and can some of my Vidalia onions.
Here's what I did...
First, I peeled my onions, then cut them in half and sliced them in about 1/4 inch slices.
Then, I started melting butter in my crock pot (with the heat on high), about 2 Tablespoons of butter for every pound of onions... I had sliced 6 pounds of onions, so I melted one stick of butter...
Then sliced another stick of butter into pats to add on top when all the onions had been added to the crock pot.
I left the heat on high in the crock pot for about an hour, until the onions started sweating a little and the butter was mostly melted, then I turned it down to low and, stirring after a couple hours more, I left it to cook for about 10 hours, or overnight.
Next morning the onions were golden brown and caramelized, so I got to work on the canning process.
I heated half pint canning jars in a pan of water set across two stove eyes with a dish towel lining the bottom of the pan to keep the jars from tipping over or knocking together.
I simmered the lids and rings and kept them hot until I was ready for them.
I began ladling the onions into the jars using a canning funnel. Some recipes I have read say to drain the onions first but I like the juice too, so I left it in.
I wiped the jar rims with a damp cloth.
Using my plastic gadget, I ran it down the sides to get rid of any air bubbles (a butter knife will do the job just as well).
Then I put the lids and rings on, tightening them to finger-tip tightness.
Onions are a low-acid food and must be pressure canned unless they're made into pickles or relish using vinegar or other high-acid ingredients... there was nothing in these onions except onions and butter so I got the pressure canner out.
I processed the jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes. (Follow the directions that come with your brand of pressure canner).
After processing I removed the canner from the heat and let the pressure drop to ZERO on its own... don't rush it, you don't want broken jars!
I removed the jars from the canner using my jar lifter and set them to cool on a folded dish towel on the counter... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.
Yummy! Can't wait to mix them into some mashed potatoes... or, seeing as I used Vidalias, and they are sweeter than most onions, my caramelized onions will be sweet... maybe I should call it onion jam... and maybe I'll just have it on toast for breakfast!
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