Julia Child’s Deliciously Braised Onions

Julia Child’s Deliciously Braised Onions is one of the best side dishes I make during holidays, family celebrations, and when I am in the mood for roasts and stews. It combines perfectly with her Beef Bourguignon, and I can assure you that this side dish recipe will make a perfect main dish even more delectable. This Julia Child recipe is a family favorite. You should try it too, and take your roasts and stews to the next level.

The process of making Julia Child’s braised onions, starts by picking fresh and perfectly grown pearl onions. You can buy them with the skin on, or get them peeled and frozen for convenience sake. If you choose the get the pearl onions fresh, you should blanch them and cut the tips off, so it will be easier to remove the skin. Try to ensure all the onions are about the same size for best results.


  • 1 lb of fresh and perfectly grown pearl onions, preferably an inch in diameter (1 lb makes 4 servings)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock ( this can be replaced with water, or even vegetable stock)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (if you are using brown pearl onions)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blanching and Removing Skin:

Note: Do this if you are using fresh onions. If you are using the frozen type, make sure to thaw the onions first, skip this step, and move on to the next step.

Boil Water.

Gently pour the boiling water onto the onions, and allow it to loosen the skin for a minute. Drain your onions, and place it in ice water, so that the onions will not cook thoroughly. We will be doing that later.

Cut the tips of your onions, and slowly remove the skin.

Directions for White Pearl Onions:

  • Get a saucepan and arrange your white pearl onions in a layer.
  • Pour in the stock, and make sure that it reaches the mid part of your onions
  • Put in your butter
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Simmer for 25 minutes or until the onions are already tender and soft

Directions for Brown Pearl Onions:

  • Sauté the brown pearl onions in butter, until it reaches a beautiful brown color
  • Pour in the stock
  • Add salt
  • Add sugar
  • Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the brown pearl onions are already soft and tender

The last procedure is going to be your finishing touch. After the onions have simmered, remove the lid of your saucepan, and allow the liquid to dissolve. You can add more butter if you want. My family wants the creamy version of the recipe. So I add in heavy cream onto my white onions, and simmer a few minutes more, to get my cream to thicken.

Serve your braised onions in a ramekin or any small bowl, and place it beside your roast platter or stew.  Enjoy!

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