Caramelised onion risotto (serves 4 hungry adults)
- 9 large brown onions sliced into rings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- big knob of butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1tsp salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Put oil and butter into large saucepan with onion rings, bay leaf, rosemary and salt. Don’t be scared of the amount of oil – most of it comes off at the end of the cooking and can be removed.
Put the lid on and cook for 15 minutes over a moderate heat until the onions have softened and started to reduce.
Start the rice cooking*
Then remove the lid and keep cooking, stirring every 5 minutes or so until they are quite brown and have started to give up the oil. Approx 40 minutes, but it will vary wildly depending on your onions and the heat you are cooking them at. At this point remove the bay leaf and taste. If there is some bitterness you will need to add some sugar. I put in a whole tablespoon but it really depends on the onions. Some are much sweeter than others.
At the beginning of the cooking you would have had a large saucepan of raw onions, when cooked they will reduce to about a 1 cup quantity of intense, soft deliciousness. There will be oil visible, which is very easy to remove and use for something else another time. The oil is good so don’t throw it away! Course, you could keep it in the dish if you like as it will get absorbed by the rice.
- 1 & 1/2 cups of basmati rice
- 2 heaped teaspoons of chicken or vegetable stock powder
- 1 tsp salt (if your stock powder is the no-salt variety)
- 3 cups of water.
I put all the above in the microwave rice-cooker for 12 minutes on high. That gets it to the point of almost-cooked and ready to absorb the rest of the ingredients.
Tip the (almost) cooked rice into your onion mix and give it a good stir to combine. Have some boiling water on hand, and keep adding it to the rice/onion mix until the rice has finished cooking. How much you need will vary, but about 1/2 a cup added gradually usually works for me.
This is SO good! Because the risotto is slightly sweet you need to counter-balance is with something a bit salty and intense. I added parmesan to mine, but had a bowl of crispy fried chopped bacon for the carnivores in the house.