Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Avoid regular eye watering onion preparation sessions with some batch cooking
Onions certainly crop up in lots of recipes. Chopped, sliced or diced they seem to be there.
Some onions seem tame and unthreathening but others can really induce an eyeball squinting, and tear streaming avalanche. For this reason they are not my favourite item to prepare. After a particularly eventful session, I often decree that I will only buy prepared diced/sliced onions from a supermarket. Its just not worth the agony. Let someone else endure the suffering! However, I do feel a sense of victory and completeness once I have tackled an irksome onion and so I presist.
Batch cooking is the obvious answer.
I first discovered the concept of 'onion mush' in Nigella Lawson's How to Eat, when it was first published in 1998 and I have been making it ever since. The idea is simple. You prepare a large quantity of cooked onion, then divide and spoon into individual freezer bags, so that when a recipe requires a sliced onion, you simply get one of your bags out of the freezer and job done!
The secret weapon here is slow, prolonged cooking at a low heat. Something that an Everhot cooker excels in.
The recipe can be found on page 119 of Nigella's How to Eat, but for those without a copy I have listed the ingredients below.
1 kg onions
1 heaped tablespoon of lard or butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil
(or 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil)
Peel and slice the onions, very thinly, heat the oil gently in a heavy bottomed pan and place the onions on top with the 100 ml of marsala, made up to 175 ml with boiling water and place in the simmering oven, middle shelf, at 100c overnight or up to 8 hours.
The results are worth waiting for and really rather magical.