Pearl onions “glacé a brun”

Pearl onions glazed in their own cooking juices are a common accompaniment to many classic French dishes – Bœuf Bourguignon, Ouefs en Meurette and  Poulet rôti Grand-mere, to name some of the most well known.  They are easy to make and delicious included with many winter stews, so I thought it might be a good moment for the recipe.


Pearl onions “glacé a brun”


  • 1# pearl onions or small boiler onions
  • Water
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 T butter
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


Serves 4-6 as a garnish in stews and to roasted meats


  1. ​Peel the onions using a small paring knife.  When  removing the root end, use the tip of the knife to make a V-shaped cut. This helps the onion stay in one piece when it is cooked
  2. Put the onions in a small, heavy sauce pan just large enough to hold them. Add water to just cover.  Add a pinch of salt, a grind of black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Add the butter.
  3. Cover with a circle of parchment paper.  A handy trick for cutting a paper circle is to fold the paper diagonally several times until you have a pointed triangle of paper. Measure the size of your pan by holding the triangle over it, then cut to the desired size with a knife or scissors. When unfolded, you will have a circle of the correct size.
  4. Bring to a boil and continue cooking over high heat for 4-8 minutes, depending on the size of the onions, until they are just tender.  Remove the onions to a small plate and continue cooking the liquid over high heat until it is reduced.
  5. When the liquid is completely reduced and begins to form a dark caramel, return the onions to the pan and cook, swirling constantly, until they are nicely browned and caramelized on all sides.  Serve immediately or cool until ready to reheat for use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top