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Beer-Braised Cipollini Onions

  • 40 m
  • 1 h 20 m
Lia Huber
“Creamed pearl onions have long been a staple Thanksgiving side dish, but this lighter, sweet-and-savory cipollini onion recipe may send that traditional recipe to the back of your file for good. For a fruity (and gluten-free) twist, use your favorite hard cider instead of beer.”


    • 2 pounds cipollini or pearl onions
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 12-ounce bottle Belgian-style wheat ale, lager or hard cider
    • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme


  • 1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions and cook for 1 minute. Drain. Peel and trim the root end, if necessary, but leave the onions whole.
  • 2 Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until browned in spots, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in beer (or hard cider), brown sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • 3 Uncover and gently stir the onions. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a gentle boil, spooning the sauce over the onions frequently, until the sauce has thickened to a light syrup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs before serving.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Peel onions (Step 1), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days and/or prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat just before serving.
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