Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Beef Stuffed Onions in Barbecue Sauce

This is a popular camping dish, brought back indoors. By all means, make them to be wrapped in foil packets and cooked in the campfire during the appropriate season, but they do pretty well baked in the oven and served right now.

You will need something to soak up that sauce - rice, noodles, toast, potatoes... whatever seems right to you.

I have to say, barbecue sauce is pretty much a tour of the back of the fridge door. All that's missing is the mayonnaise, dill pickles and jam. I make no guarantees if you  decide to put those in too.

It took me an onion to get the knack of slicing and emptying them to be shells. The secret is to get the middle out first. Then you can push the layers inwards to get them apart. If you try to pull them outwards, they will want to break. If all else fails, cut the onions in half and "glue" them back together. Of course, then you will need to be very gentle during the turning and basting process. 

4 to 6 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 45 minutes prep time

Beef Stuffed Onions in Barbecue Sauce

Make the Barbecue Sauce:
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
chile-garlic sauce to taste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup beef broth

Mix the ketchup, honey, mustard, paprika, and chile-garlic sauce in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Once they are well combined, stir in the vinegar, and then the beef broth. Set aside.

Make the Stuffed Onions:
1 cup finely crumbled fresh (stale!) bread crumbs
1/4 cup beef broth
500 grams (1 pound) ground beef
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo or other mildly hot chile
4 to 6 large (750 grams; 1 1/2 pounds) yellow cooking onions
1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil
the innards of 1 or 2 of the onions

Crumb the bread and put it in a larger mixing bowl; moisten it with the broth. Add the ground beef, the egg, and the seasonings.

Cut the top and bottom from one of the onions. Set it upright on the cutting board and cut through to the middle of the onion from top to bottom. Gently remove the middle third of the of the onion without breaking the outer layers. There should be 4 to 6 layers left. Gently separate them into 2 sets of onion shells of 2 or 3 layers each. Repeat with the remaining onions.

Put a pot of water on to boil. 

Take the centres from one or two onions, which are otherwise to be discarded from this recipe, and chop them finely. Heat the oil in a small skillet and cook the chopped onion until softened and translucent. Give them a few minutes to cool, then add them to the bowl of ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Meanwhile, blanch the onion shells for 2 minutes in the boiling water, then transfer them to a bowl of cold water until cool. Drain well. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Take the appropriate amount of meat filling and press it into each hollowed out onion shell. Some will be bigger than others; that's okay. Press the onion shells closed around the meat into their original shape. Place them in a roasting pan, which will hold them snugly in a single layer. Pour the barbecue sauce over them, wetting them all.

Cover the onions and bake for 30 minutes. Gently turn and baste them, then bake for a further 30 minutes, still covered. Gently turn and baste them, then remove the cover and bake for a final 30 minutes.

Last year at this time I made Creamy Spaghetti with Leeks & Smoked Salmon.


MMeadows said...

Never thought of stuffing onion! The onion taste is not overpowering?

Ferdzy said...

It's cooked enough I wouldn't say that it is! Still, this is not a dish for those who aren't that fond of onions. For those of us who like them, though...!