Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Condiments, Burnt Onions and Gravy

Condiments are sauces that help pep up meals like home made mustards and flavouring the mustard to go with specific meats sometimes mixing them with wine another time with a beer or a stout.  There are many kind of condiments including the nations favourite Tomato Ketchup.

Having made the Souper Paste stock the other evening and having the remnants of a net of onions lurking and needing something doing with them I have decided to make another batch of Burnt Onions for Gravy which I make periodically although it is a while since I have raised this via a post. For the recipe please see the link here:  It will in effect be something useful made out of what I already have to hand and not wasting anything.  The net of onions only cost me £1 and I have had lots of use out of the onions so far.  I use onions a lot although when peeling and chopping I am quite frequently balling my eyes out but I have found a trick.  Soak the onion(s) in boiling water for about 10 minutes before you need to use them then peel and chop (chop the root off last).  I use this method for peeling shallots or pickling onions to make pickled onions/shallots.

I am a firm believer that people remember good meals for their flavour as much as anything else and a lot of that flavour comes from the gravy as a rule. I make gravy the old fashioned way using fresh stock where I can (I freeze in pouches in the freezer so I have a ready supply for soups and gravies). A good gravy makes the most of meat juices from cooking meat and vegetable water from cooking the veggies but I also use some of the Souper Paste, white ground pepper, sometimes redcurrant jelly, rowan jelly or elderberry jelly and burnt onions and a few mixed herbs depending on what I am cooking.  I suit the flavourings to what I am cooking. A little bit of that and a little bit of this all helps with getting the gravy just as you want it. The burnt onions form a good base  for sausages and pork dishes - all meats really but also for making soups.

If I use the Souper paste because of the salt content I do not add extra salt but I do use ground white pepper.  It is really a matter of experimenting and getting to know your ingredients and catering to your own palate.

Hopefully I will get the first batch done tomorrow night when I get home from work.  It doesn't take much cooking but make sure the kitchen window is open when boiling the vinegar I wouldn't want you to pass out with the fumes!

I want to have a go at my own Tomato Ketchup and Brown Sauce as well; but we will get the Burnt Onions out of the way with first.  I also want to try and get hold of some horseradish root and freeze it down in ice cube trays as well.  I have tried pickling horseradish root but was not very impressed with the results.   Will have to see how things go.

Catch you soon.



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