Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stuffed Onions

Tonight's dinner was not a fast one, but it was really delicious. I will definitely make this again, but next time I will make sure that I have enough time. We had a late afternoon snowstorm that snarled traffic and made my commute lengthen from 10 minutes to 35 (it took Phillip an hour and fifteen minutes!). This recipe should really take almost two hours from start to finish, but since I was in a hurry, I didn't let them bake as long as was called for, and while they were good, I could tell that they would be much better if they were caramelized a little more. This is a recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and if you haven't read her blog yet, stop what you're doing and go read it now! Her love story puts me to tears almost every time she posts an update.


6 onions
handful of mushrooms
1 garlic clove
7 oz ground beef (I used pork sausage, because that's what we had thawed)
stale white bread
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1/3 cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
4 cups chicken broth
flat parsley
1 tsp salt


Preheat your oven to 400F.

Season the meat with 1 tsp salt, a good pinch of black pepper, some freshly grated nutmeg and 1 heaping tbsp sweet chili sauce. Knead it well.

To prepare the onion - just cut off the top, peel the onion and cut a small slice off the bottom so the onions won’t tumble over. Grab a spoon, stick it between two layers of onion, really dig it in there and just follow the curves with your spoon. That way you’ll loosen the layers a bit making it easier to scoop them out. You can also use a small knife or even an apple corer, this just seems to work best for me. Just make sure you’re left with at least 1/3 inch of onion layer.

Give the onion you just scooped out a rough chop. We’ll use about 1/3 to 1/2 of it, depending on how much you like onions. Wash a handful of mushrooms. Remove the stem, thinly slice them and cut the slices in half. Grate a medium-sized garlic clove and crumble up any stale white bread - buns or sliced bread. Chop a good handful of flat-leaved parsley.

Put your meat in a skillet and cook until brown. Drain the fat—yes, drain all of it! Not because I’m a health nut, but because the meat is part of your stuffing.

Add the onions to the same pan you cooked your meat in. After about 4 minutes you can add your garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms lose their whiteness. Now simply add a good handful of chopped parsley, put the meat back in and sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese in as well. Stir to combine.

Spoon the meat mix into the prepared onions, place in a shallow baking dish. Pour in chicken stock until the onions are 1/3 to 1/2 covered. Loosely cover the tin with aluminum foil and pop in a preheated oven for about 1 hour.

Lower your oven to 350F (175C), take the onions out, drizzle a little broth all over them, spoon out a little of the chicken broth (if it hasn’t vaporized by now) and put it back in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 to 30 minutes. Until the onion and topping is golden brown.

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