Stuffed Onions w/ Lamb and Pomegranate
Updated: Mar 12, 2018
I stumbled upon this Epicurious recipe a few years ago and it's a favorite in our house. Don't let the simplicity fool you. The flavors are mind-blowing and you'll be coming back for more. I'd recommend doubling the recipe so you have leftovers for lunch and dinner during the week. You can also make the onions and stuffing separately the night before to save time. Serve with a large green salad and warm, crusty bread.
Photo Credit: @epicurious
2 large Spanish onions (1 pound), peeled and left whole
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 pound ground lamb (if doubling, use 1 pound of ground lamb)
1 1/2 oil-packed anchovies, drained, patted dry, and finely chopped (if doubling, use all the anchovies)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup raw jasmine rice
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, divided
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 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:
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 1 cup 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 1 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.
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.