Monday, June 2, 2008

DiSaronno Gourmet: Onion Confit

This recipe is from Thomas Keller's book Bouchon, which includes a lot of standard (gourmet) french bistro recipes. "Confit" means cooked in fat, usually over low heat for a long time. Onion confit is onions cooked in a shitload of butter and herbal for 2 hours, until it is soft, sweet, perfection.

Onion Confit
-2 or 3 large spanish onions
-8 Tblsp butter
-1/4 c. water
-1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
-8 sprigs thyme
-2 sprigs italian parsley
-2 bay leaves
-1/2 tsp black peppercorns
-the leaves from 1 leek (optional)

To prep the onions, cut the ends off of each. Rest an onion on the cut end and slice it in half.  Peel off the skin. Make two cuts to form a triangle around the center core bit and remove it.

One at a time lay the onion halves flat. Cut into strips by following the lines that run down the onion, trying to slice towards the center and rotating the onion as necessary so as not to cut yeself.

damn. look at that knife work.

After you've got your onions chopped you need to assemble the bouquet garni, which is french for "flavor country." Take a few leaves from the leek and lay them out, fill with the thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns.

Wrap with another leaf and tie with kitchen twine. You can forego the wrapping business and just throw all the herbs in the pot loose. It just means a little more work later because you're going to have to pick them out of the onions when they're done.

Heat up the water in a good-sized pot over medium-low heat. Add the butter, cut into chunks, whisk lightly til melted. Add the onions, bouquet (or loose herbs), and salt. mix it well.

turn the heat very low and cover so that just a little bit of space remains for steam to escape. cook for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so. it'll simmer but shouldn't brown... if it's drying out too fast, add some water.... if it's got too much liquid when you're getting close to 2 hours, turn up the heat to medium and remove the lid completely.

the onions will be golden and softer than butter when the liquid is completely reduced. it looks like this:

remove the herbs and peppercorns (they'll have fallen out, this is a pain in the ass but it is doubly miserable to bite into one). You can store it up to a week in the fridge, use it with potatoes and on sandwiches. I'm going to use it as the base for a serious french onion soup that takes like 2 days to make, if DBlog is still around i'll post some results.

1 comment:

Samson D. said...

I like to have this onion butter placed on my delicious nathan's dog with a little bit of new york cheddar. and some jalepene