Caramelised shallots or onions

Caramelised shallots or onions

By
From
Botanical
Makes
20 g
Photographer
William Meppem

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20 medium–large shallots
or 4 red onions, unpeeled and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
150g caster sugar
75g butter
50ml red wine vinegar
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Choose an oven-proof frying pan wide enough to fit all the shallots or onions when arranged cut-side down. Add olive oil, warm gently and arrange the shallots or onions in the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and cook until the onions are golden-brown, before adding the thyme and sugar. As the sugar begins to dissolve, caramelise the butter. Melt the butter, tilt the pan and stir the shallots or onions, ensuring they are evenly coated. Once the sauce is rich amber in colour add the vinegar, taking care as it may spit and splutter. Bring to the boil, before removing the pan from the stovetop and placing in the oven. Bake for 10–15 minutes for shallots, 20–30 minutes for onions.
  3. Once cooked, allow to cool within the caramel sauce then carefully peel away the skins and trim off any excess root.
  4. To serve, remove the onions or shallots from the caramel, place on a baking tray and warm in the oven. Meanwhile bring the caramel sauce to the boil and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Adjust seasoning, baste the hot onions or shallots with the caramel and arrange, cut-side up on a serving dish.

Chef’s note

  • As too many chefs’ hours are spent endlessly peeling, this clever concept of removing the shallot or onion skins afterwards keeps the accountant happy. This dish is very versatile, delicious both with red and white meats, robustly flavoured fish, as well as with cheese such as goat’s curd or gorgonzola.
Tags:
restaurant
chef
high end
cuisine
Botanical
complex
challenging
fine dining
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