This time of year, I always seem to find myself thinking up new dip ideas. Fall seems like dip season – tailgates, back to school events, Halloween and Thanksgiving and all sorts of harvest events. I don’t know. That being said, I love onion dip any time of the year. I make it with roasted onions, with a hit of bourbon and bacon, a recipe you’ll find in my book Southern Snacks(that I wrote a book about snacks is proof enough of my love of a good dip!). And as we enter October, it seemed logical to work up a beer-based version for Oktoberfest. It’s got all the creamy appeal of a traditional dip with the deeply caramelized onions complex with the flavors of beer.
A lighter beer is best for this recipe (not lite beer) so the taste is deep but not too bitter or overpowering. The onions need to be in a small dice so they are easy to dip on a chip. I happily use my favorite onion chopper, but a little time and a knife works just as well. I love all onion dips with ripply chips, but this stands up well to corn chips or toasted slices of bread. Pretzels or rye bread crisps would also be a great twist.
Oktoberfest Onion Dip
4 cups finely diced yellow onion, from about 2 large onions
4 Tablespoons ( ½ stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
12 ounces pale beer, like IPA or lager
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
Melt the butter in a large deep sided skillet over high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become soft and glassy, then sprinkle over the salt, celery salt, paprika, sage and pepper. Stir well, then cook until the onions just start to color. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and stir to coat the onions. Cook a few more minutes until the sugar is incorporated, then pour in the beer. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until the onions are soft and golden and the liquid has evaporated.
Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise together in the bowl of a satnd mixer or with a hand mixer. Add the cooled onions and beat for a few seconds. Stir the dip with a spatula to thoroughly distribute the onions. Scrape into a bowl, then cover and refrigerate for several hours to blend the flavors. The dip can be made 2 days ahead.