We’re quite excited the weather is changing from hot to cool here in the Northwest, and so are our dinner recipes. I’m sure it’s the same for many of you as it is for our household; the summers are always a challenge for us. We love the hot weather, but hate the fact that we can’t use our stove or oven for fear of death by heat and humidity. As we gear up for fall, we are leaving the salads, sushi, burgers, and eating out behind us and looking forward to more savory, long-oven roasted meals, like this one. Courtesy of epicurious, it’s not only delicious but, gluten-free and dairy-free too.
You can check out the original recipe here, but we have tweaked it for large group meals or dinner for us for the week. What can I say? We hate cooking in the middle of the week. It’s nice to have a delicious, fresh meal you just need to heat up.
- 5-6 large Spanish onions (sweet onions), peeled and left whole
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 container of oil-packed anchovies, drained, patted dry, and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup raw jasmine rice
- 1/2teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- *3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, divided.
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Boil the onions:
Fill a medium pot with enough water to cover the onions and bring to a boil. Add whole onions, return to a boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions to a colander, drain, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut a 1/2-inch wedge from the outside to the core of each onion, then carefully peel 5 outer layers from each onion and reserve; chop the onion wedges and core, and reserve separately.
Make the stuffing:
*If you don’t have pomegranate molasses, you can make your own. Pour an entire POM 12 oz juice bottle into a sauté pan and place on simmer until the liquid slowly evaporates and becomes thicker, like molasses. Use as you would for the rest of the recipe.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lamb, anchovies, salt, and pepper and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until lamb is no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spices and 2 cups broth; cook, stirring, until evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer lamb mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and cool slightly; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator, transfer to a bowl, and add parsley, cilantro, and 3 tablespoon pomegranate molasses.
Stuff and bake the onions:
Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining broth and pomegranate molasses with the tomato paste. Wrap one onion layer around about 2 to 3 tablespoons filling and arrange seam-side down in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Repeat with remaining onion layers and filling.
You’ll have enough leftovers for more than 1 pan. Depending on how large the onions are, you’ll need either 1-9×13 and 1-9×9 pan or 2-9×13 pans.
Pour liquid over stuffed onions, cover with foil, and roast until tender and some of the liquid is absorbed, 2 hours (you can roast for up to 3 additional hours for softer, more savory onions). Remove from oven and uncover. Preheat broiler and broil until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. To serve, drizzle with oil, and garnish with pomegranate seeds, parsley, and cilantro.
Best served with a green salad and a loaf of fresh rustic bread w/ fresh butter.