Cider Baked Onions

 

Cider Baked Onions

 

French food writer, Robert J. Courtine once claimed  "The onion is the truffle of the poor."  In that spirit, I offer up these deeply flavoured and delightful baked onions.  They are wonderful as a special side dish at a celebration dinner or just on their own!

 

4 large Spanish onions (because they are pretty) or Sweet Browns

350mls very good cider or perry – at room temperature

Large sprig of thyme, finely chopped

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped

8 large sage leaves

8 cloves

1 tablespoon honey (preferably a flowery honey)

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C

 

Wash the onions well, peel off the outer skin and cut in perfect halves, stalk side down so that concentric rings look up at you.

 

Arrange the onions in a large, heavy bottomed baking tray.

In a small bowl, stir the parsley, thyme, honey and salt into the butter, squishing it together well.  Divide the mixture evenly between the onions, heaping it up and pressing it down onto the surface of the cut onions.

Place a large sage leaf on each onion half and secure in place with a clove.

Drizzle over a little olive oil and crack over the black pepper.

Pour the cider into the base of the baking tray and cover the entire tray with foil.

Bake for about an hour, undisturbed, then remove the foil, sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and baste with pan juices.

Cook for a further 15 minutes  either in the oven with the heat turned up to 200°C or under a grill.

Serve as a side dish to roasts (especially chicken) or as part of a vegetarian supper.