Spicy Sweet Caramelized Onions

Summer means fantastic sandwiches and burgers on my menus and that means caramelizing onions. Some might ask, is the time involved worth it? To which I reply enthusiastically, "YES!!!" These tender, sweet, spicy onions are absolutely perfect on any number of summer favorites, but the place that truly makes my heart sing is on top of a glorious pulled pork sandwich. Even without a fancy bun or the most amazing cheese or condiments, adding these caramelized onions truly transforms a pulled pork sandwich.

If you're wondering where the recipes for the pulled pork are hiding, look no further than our archives:

They are all excellent and you will love how fairly simple a picnic pork roast is to prepare and you'll love even more how much tender, melt in your mouth meat it can provide.

So now that you know my favorite place to put these beauties, what do I serve alongside the sandwiches? This time of the year, ALL THE SALADS. Oh … and fresh fruit too. Don't fuss too much. Nature is providing a lot of fruit and vegetables, so dig in.

Spicy Sweet Caramelized Onions

  • 3-4 large, sweet onions, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 T. cooking fat - I usually opt for bacon fat or butter
  • 1 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare the onions and heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until they become translucent and soft. Add the sugar and seasonings and continue cooking over medium or medium-low heat until they reach your desired level of caramelization. This can take the better part of an hour, but you will be rewarded with absolutely amazing flavor and texture for topping everything from pulled pork sandwiches (my favorite) to burgers to pizza.

  • Yields: 1-2 cups of onions, depending on desired amount of cooking
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour, depending on desired amount of cooking