I needed something new for my baked potatoes. I wanted something that I could just keep in the fridge, and take a dollop or two and be good to go.
Now, understand that sometimes good things take time. The nice thing, you can make this first thing in the morning and forget about it all day long. Even if you make this in your Instant Pot, I would suggest using the slow cooker mode. You want the onions to release their natural sugars and flavor. I have both and IP and slow cooker, and I would strongly suggest using the slow cooker.
4 lbs. sweet onions (Vidalia, red, Mayan sweets) peeled, and sliced very thin (by mandolin or food processor with slicing blade)
1/2 cup of maple syrup (seems like a lot, but you are not eating the whole recipe in one sitting. This is a condiment)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt (optional)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. liquid smoke
Now, the first part is going to be sad. You will cry, and that is OK. You need to slice 4 lbs. of onions, and you need to slice them thin. To make it easier, I suggest using a mandolin or food processor.
Add all the remaining ingredients on top.
With a wooden spoon, stir everything up.
Now, wipe your tears away, because you can now cover the onions, turn the slow cooker on low, and walk away for 10 hours. You read that right, 10 hours. Don't overreact, it isn't like you have to sit and watch it for 10 hours.
Might I suggest using that time to clean up your mess?
After 10 hours, come back and remove the lid.
You should have brown, soft, and delicious smelling onions.
Using an immersion blender, or with a blender (carefully, and in shifts) give the onion mix a course chop. You are not wanting to puree them, just break down a bit. You still want it to be chunky.
Now, transfer into your choice of container. I used pint jars. Let it cool completely. Store in the fridge. Because of the sweetness and the vinegar, you can store for a couple of weeks in the fridge. (I really don't see it lasting that long though).
I hope you give this a try, and enjoy!!