Years ago, we learned a simple trick that to help us rid our home of those rare half bottles of red wine left after a dinner party. We use it to cook down a big ol’ batch of red onions. Not only does it make the house smell wonderful, but you can put the onions on just about anything: grilled steaks, burgers, or one of our favorite date-night-in treats, homemade pizza.
For pizza, the red-wine onions serve as our “red sauce.” Then we add pan-fried Italian sausage, mushrooms, and a rainbow of sweet peppers. Cover it with a blend of Italian cheeses and the end result is better than anything you can buy in the frozen pizza section at the grocery store or get delivered in most parts of the country.
Pro Tip No. 1: Many pizzerias will sell you their dough for an incredibly reasonable price. This simplifies the process of cooking dinner and ensures that you will have a stellar crust under the pie. Call around to your favorite local places and find one that will sell you a couple balls.
Pro Tip No. 2: Try some other combinations with the red onion sauce base. We like goat cheese, prosciutto, and fig jam. We also like to do a hamburger pizza: ground beef cooked in a frying pan, homemade pickles, and just a little American cheese mixed in with the other cheeses.
2 medium red onions, cut into long, thin pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
1 cup red wine
Dash (or two) of good quality balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Warm a dutch oven over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil to to the dutch oven with the garlic, and let it cook about 60 seconds then add the onions and the bacon. Stir occasionally, until the onions to become transparent, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the wine, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let the onions slow simmer with the lid off for about an hour, until the wine becomes syrupy. Remove from heat, stir in the balsamic and serve immediately.