Cipolline Glazed with Spiced Red Wine

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Shiny, burgundy-brown little orbs are richly glazed, sweet, and winy—a gorgeous garnish. One of the few recipes in this book that demands the weight of a red meat or game accompaniment, the onions lend luster to venison, beef, lamb, or squab. Very small onions present the prettiest picture and will adorn more plates but are time-consuming to peel. Larger ones will do fine—but feed fewer diners.


  • 1 pound very small (50 or thereabouts) cipolline (preferably red)
  • ½ teaspoon bruised juniper berries or cardamom seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon bruised peppercorns
  • cups red wine
  • 1 cup strong veal, beef, or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Salt


    1. Peel onions in whichever fashion you prefer (see Preparation and Peeling).
    2. Combine juniper, cloves, bay leaves, pepper, wine, and stock in heavy non-aluminum skillet large enough to hold onions in a single layer. Boil gently, tightly covered, for 5 minutes.
    3. Add butter, sugar, and onions. Cover, reduce heat, and barely simmer (keep heat low, or onion centers will pop out), stirring occasionally, until onions are three-quarters cooked-10 to 15 minutes.
    4. Uncover and add brandy. Taste for salt. Continue to cook over fairly low heat (do not hurry the process, or sauce will burn before onions color), stirring, shaking, and turning often until sauce has reduced to a thick glaze and onions are evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Pick out spices, if desired.