The oft-heard kitchen wisdom that there’s no such thing as a shortcut for making caramelized onions is largely true. One proposed solution, currently in vogue, is using a small amount of baking soda to speed browning, but it has a few major drawbacks. Raising the pH this way will cause the onions to brown faster, but it also produces a mushy, almost puréed texture (because science reasons, pectin blahblahblah), and leaves a faintly discernable soapy taste, even in small quantities. With that said, we don’t have a magic solution to offer, but we do have a pretty solid alternative. Browning the onions on high heat before they soften jumpstarts the process, followed by the addition of honey to help the browning along and add some sweetness and depth, and then a final boost of complexity with nutty amontillado sherry. The onions won’t be fully softened at this point, but by sealing them and finishing the cooking sous vide, you can avoid the need for constant stirring and fear of burning in one fell swoop, with truly flavorful results. We trust the appeal of using these onions to then make a steak sandwich with the flavor of French onion soup speaks for itself.