• Roasted onions in truffle lard with polenta (Adam Gibson)

Whole onions are roasted slowly in their skins until their sugars caramelise. It's one of the easiest things to make and the most comforting thing to eat.

Serves
4

Preparation

15min

Cooking

2min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 5 (1 vote)

I up the comfort factor by tossing the slow-roasted onions in a homemade truffle lard. The truffle lard keeps for up to 3 months in the fridge. I like to add it to all kinds of vegetables for roasting, use it to rub through pastry for savoury pies or simply smeared over warm toast.

The onions are served on a bed of truffle polenta, made with milk (instead of stock) as the lactic acid helps unlock the truffle flavour. Layering the truffle flavours magnifies its depth.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium brown onions
  • 4 medium red onions
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 125 ml (½ cup) red wine
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • finely grated truffle, to garnish

 

Truffle lard

  • 300 g soft rendered lard (see Note)
  • 20 g finely grated black truffle
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

 

Truffle polenta

  • 300 ml milk
  • 300 ml water
  • 115 g polenta
  • 60 g finely grated parmesan
  • 12 g finely grated black truffle
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Place the whole unpeeled onions in a roasting tray and roast until very soft, about 1½-2 hours. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel, discarding the skins and leaving the onions intact.

Meanwhile, for the truffle lard, place the lard in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the truffle and salt and mix on low speed for about 5 minutes until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until required. The truffle lard will keep for up to 3 months.

To make the truffle polenta, combine the milk and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium–high heat. Whisk in the polenta, then reduce the heat to low and stir frequently with a wooden spoon for about 1 hour or until the mixture is smooth and not gritty. Stir in the parmesan and truffle and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat 80 g truffle lard in a large frying pan over low–medium heat, add the onions and thyme and cook gently, turning often, until the onions are caramelised on the outside, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and sugar and cook for 8–10 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve on the polenta with freshly grated truffle.

 

Cook's note

• Lard is not the dirty word it once was. The realisation that natural animal fats are more easily digested by our bodies has meant it's making our way back into our diets. We render our own lard from the pigs we raise but you can buy lard from select butchers and delicatessens. 

 

Rodney Dunn is the owner of The Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School & Farm, in Lachlan, Tasmania. This recipe is part of our story on What you can do with $15 worth of truffle. The writer travelled to The Agrarian Kitchen courtesy of AEG.