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Onion Confit

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Onion confit season is upon us, and I've got five pounds of onions in the oven. I won't recap the many details in the topic above, but I will add a few notes.

I've taken to adding no liquid save a splash of water if needed. Today I've added about 1/4 c of sweet vermouth to the onions, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and bay. I also took the bay out after a couple of hours; I may be wrong, but I've always had the sense that bay starts to get bitter after a while.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I made it in my sanyo rice cooker (which has a slow cooker function) and it worked well. :) Took about 12 hrs from start to finish and it smells soooo good! There's no high/low setting though so its either on high or on warm so I just set it on high for a few hrs, let it warm for a few and then high for a few etc until I was satisfied. :)

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I made it successfully in my crock pot last month on the lowest setting for about 15 hours.

Like others have reported above, a lot of liquid was released from the onions when I checked in the morning.

Instead of throwing the liquid away, however, I just strained the liquid into a sauté pan, reduced it, and returned it to the confit. I'm not sure if this helped at all, but it didn't hurt.

I much preferred this "hands off" method. I usually make it on the stove, checking every 20 minutes for hours and hours on end, hoping it doesn't take on color.

I like a very flavorful confit, so I add two large bouquet garni to about 7 lbs on onions.


Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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On second thought, maybe the crock pot was not such a great idea.

I used the confit to make 2 Quiche Lorraine–too much for me to eat, so I froze most of both.

On reheating a couple of slices in the oven this morning, there was liquid (rendered from the quiche) all over the reheating plate, soaking the bottom of the tart shell, which turned to mush. :blink:

I'm almost certain it's from the onion confit used in the quiche. Perhaps the onions didn't lose as much liquid to evaporation as they usually do when I make it in a sauté pan? I can't imagine it's coming from set custard or cheese or bacon, so it has to be the confit. :unsure:


Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Since the wife will be out of town for a few nights, it is a good time to stink the house up by making onion confit.

This will be my 4th batch -- the only batch I didn't like was when I replaced some of the butter with olive oil. Never again.

Has anyone ever added mushrooms to the onions? Or just made a mushroom confit? I make mushroom sauces all of the time, and was thinking that mushrooms would cook down and caramelize really well. I'm going to throw some into this batch and see what happens (some dried, some fresh).

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...stink the house up by making onion confit...

How would a confit stink up the house? With the heat so low, I seldom smell more than the bouquet garni.

Could you be caramelizing them instead?

Keller insists that onion confit should not be caramelized, should not take on color at all; but, if you look at pictures across the internet, that's what you see: caramelized onions.

Why would someone spend hours doing it on low heat when you can do them same in minutes over medium-high?

Is Keller wrong? Is the word "confit" ("candied" or "crystallized" in French) leading people astray?

This is how mine looks when near done: is not caramelized, is not onion jelly, is not sweet, brown mush.

The example in this picture, to me, is confit done wrong. Confit would be done somewhere between the 4th and 5th frame (and on much lower heat).

Comments?


Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I'm sure that for Keller's specific use, sweated onions that haven't caramelized are perfect, but when I make onion confit, I want it brown and caramelized more like in the last group of photos, somewhere between the eighth and the ninth image. If you get onion confit with a terrine, for example, at Bar Boulud, it looks like the onions in the first photo with the Camembert, but a finer mince and more meticulously presented. Is Keller wrong? Is Boulud wrong? No, they just have different ways of doing things.


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)

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Hmm, odd that...

If you wanted caramelisation, why wouldn't you just make it at medium-high heat and be done in no time.

Why spend hours at the stove over low heat?

I thought the reason confit is made at very low heat is to avoid caramelisation and to preserve and concentrate the essential flavour of onion.

When I need caramelized onions, it's quick work; confit is anything but; takes hours.

Also, the two taste different to me.

Caramelized onions are very sweet, but taste mildly of onion; confit is mildly sweet and has a strong onion flavour.


Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I do it on the stovetop, and 5 lbs. of onions will take a while on medium to medium-low heat--maybe an hour or two--but not all day. I'm usually trying to get an even caramelized consistency with much of the water cooked out, rather than burned at the edges and soft in the middle, which is what happens if it's done too quickly (not that that isn't okay for some purposes as well).

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I'm following this recipe:

which cooks the onions, low and slow, in a crockpot for hours to achieve a very rich caramelization.

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I assumed all along that a onion confit does not result in caramelized onions, that the whole point of a making a confit is to avoid caramelisation.

For me, a confit has always been slow heating to reduce liquid, thereby concentrating flavour, but never caramelisation.

I can't, however, find a single reference to back this up.

Bouchon doesn't even define it as such, even if it's implied.


Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Today's attempt:

5 yellow onion, sliced

~1 lb mushrooms (white and baby bella), sliced

rehydrated shitakes (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup mushroom stock

1/4 cup butter

1/4 EVOO

1/8 cup truffle oil

2 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp white peppercorns

1 tbsp red peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1/4 red vermouth

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Today's attempt:

5 yellow onion, sliced

~1 lb mushrooms (white and baby bella), sliced

rehydrated shitakes (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup mushroom stock

1/4 cup butter

1/4 EVOO

1/8 cup truffle oil

2 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp white peppercorns

1 tbsp red peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1/4 red vermouth

AND how did it turn out ?


edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Patience!

What is that ? A newly discovered spice :biggrin:

The ingredient list looks fabulous.


edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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They came out sweet. I wouldn't say they are much different from the original recipe, as far as the flavor profile (I don't eat it and taste all of those herbs and such). The pepper certainly comes through; I think I have a heavy hand with it, every time :) I "only" cooked them for 12 hours, as the sides were starting to burn a bit. The final color is between milk and dark chocolate.

I think it could've used something heavier -- the original recipe called demi glace, and I only had beef bouillon (no stock around). I didn't want to add salt, though, and I was hoping the mushroom stock would be a good tradeoff. I only used the truffle oil because it is getting a bit stale and needs to be used.

So, mushrooms were definitely good, but I'd be sure to not omit something "beefier" next time -- stock, demi glace, maybe ever Worcestershire sauce. I should throw in a dried chili pepper some time -- some smokiness and spiciness could be a nice note.

I'm wondering if I could just do mushrooms now, and how they would caramelize. It wouldn't take as long.

David, how did the red onions turn out? I love red onions, but most people say to use sweet onions (which I did).


Edited by Reignking (log)

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Today's attempt:

5 yellow onion, sliced

~1 lb mushrooms (white and baby bella), sliced

rehydrated shitakes (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup mushroom stock

1/4 cup butter

1/4 EVOO

1/8 cup truffle oil

2 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp white peppercorns

1 tbsp red peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1/4 red vermouth

What did you use to rehydrate the dried mushrooms? Did you then strain it and add it back to the pot, chuck it or save it for another use?


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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What did you use to rehydrate the dried mushrooms? Did you then strain it and add it back to the pot, chuck it or save it for another use?

Water, then I drained the mushrooms. I added the mushrooms in, and what was about half of that mushroom stock. I probably could've used it all.

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I'm wondering if I could just do mushrooms now, and how they would caramelize. It wouldn't take as long.

I don't think mushrooms would caramelize in the normal sense of the word since they don't contain the natural sugars that are found in onions. I think if anything they would shrink into almost nothingness when cooked as long as a confit is normally cooked but they should add an overall umami-ness to the confit which is pure gold as far as I'm concerned.


 

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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Tim Oliver

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I used the onion confit as the base in my mushroom sauce, instead of just sauteing fresh ones. Yum.

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Because of the mention of onion confit in a thread on slow cookers I decided to give it a try. I went simplistic (looking for just the onion flavor) with just a stick of butter and 4 pounds of brown onions. I cooked them for about 16 hours on low, and wanting a higher level of carmelization than I seemed to be getting, 4 hours on high. I was personally pleased with the results.

I boiled some barley in beef broth, drained it and stirred in some of the confit for a side for last night's dinner and my DW and DD both enjoyed it. I did too.

Perhaps a silly question, but if I choose to not add herbs when I make it does it still qualify to be called an onion confit?


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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