1 1/2 pounds small white boiling onions, each no more than 1-inch in diameter
Using a sharp knife, cut root end from each unpeeled onion; set aside. Half fill a 4-6 quart saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Add onions and parboil 1 minute. Drain in a colander; place under cold running water to cool quickly. When onions are cool enough to handle, peel them: grasp each at the stem and between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze lightly. The outer peel should slip off easily. Discard peels. Melt butter in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add oi. When butter-oil mixture is hot, add onions, salt and pepper. Cook gently, shaking the skillet back and forth often, until onions are tender and evenly browned (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle brown sugar over onions; stir gently to blend. Cook, shaking skillet constantly until sugar turns deep brown (3-4 minutes). Add boiling stock and stir to blend with sugar syrup. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, shaking skillet, until liquid is reduced to a thick glaze (6-7 minutes). Serve hot.