Champagne Braised Pearl Onions

02ChampagneMeasuredbfLOOK, I admit it, I am a kindofa champagne snob.

Growing up, it was always Moët & Chandon; and when I lived out West I flirted briefly with California’s Domaine Chandon (what a way to say ‘welcome to California’). Then, when I met Rich, Veuve Clicquot became OUR signature bubbly. Still, when I came across this really interesting recipe, I couldn’t bring myself to use a bottle of White Star, V.C., or even Chandon – I wanted cheap; but not cheesy.

Korbel’s Blanc de Noirs turned out to be surprisingly nice; sparkly and well suited for cooking, and the glass and a half left over that I sipped whilst braising the onions was quite nice, tho’ Rich maintains that Korbel gives him a headache (fine, that’s more for me).

01aOnionThymeSugarSaltbfLOInterestingly, Rich doesn’t care for Korbel Méthode Champenoise, AND he doesn’t care for pearl onions – but he really enjoyed this combination of $10 champagne, thawed frozen pearl onions, a bit of butter, brown sugar and thyme.

Mebbe it was the thyme?

03OnionsAddChampagneButterbfLOOr mebbe just a really nice combination of good things.

•1 pkg frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained
•1-1/2 tsp brown sugar
•1/4 tsp sea salt
•1 sprig fresh thyme
•1-1/2 tsp unsalted butter
•2 cups champagne
•2 tbsp champagne

06OnionsDeglazePanbfLOArrange the onions in a large skillet with the butter, brown sugar, sea salt, and thyme; and pour the two cups of champagne over all, stirring to blend.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then continue simmering on medium-high for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has cooked away, the onions are nicely browned, and there is a bit of char on the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining two tablespoons of champagne to deglaze the pan and scrape up any of that tasty, tasty char on the bottom.

08cPorkOnionPLatebfLOCover, remove from the heat, and let rest until dinner is ready.


As I noted above, Rich doesn’t really care for pearl onions – or most caramelized onions either, for that matter – but he was most well pleased with these. The champagne (OK, Méthode Champenoise) added just the right amount of sweetness to the onions, and it all turned out to be a fine Sunday Feast on a Monday Night with 4 Mustard Roast Pork Tenderloin and parsleyed potatoes.

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