On the November menu, stuffed onions

There was a popular cookery book published in 1975, written by Shirley Conran, ‘Superwoman’ which was aimed at busy women, and had the marvellous but questionable phrase ‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom‘. I do understand what she means, but stuffed mushrooms are the easiest and quickest things to make – paté, cream cheese, aioli, left overs, breadcrumbs and cheese – so many ways to stuff a mushroom, so quickly, so cheaply!

If she had said ‘Life is too short to stuff an onion‘, then I would have to agree… except in the November section of the National Mark Calendar of Cooking there is a recipe for them:

Stuffed onions with beef and mushroom filling

3 oz minced beef
5-6 large onions, parboiled, a dessertspoonful of flesh scooped out from each
2-3 mushrooms, chopped small
a little celery, finely chopped
fresh parsley chopped
fresh tarragon chopped

  1. finely chop the scooped out onion and blend with all other ingredients
  2. fill each hollowed out onion, piling the filling up
  3. cover with greased paper and bake in a moderate oven, 180°C, 375°F, gas mark 4, for 1 hour
  4. serve with clear gravy

These are the exact instructions (although each item is written as National Mark produce) but it isn’t made clear whether the onions should be skinned or not – skinning seems sensible as they are to be boiled, but keeping the skins on would make a good container for the flesh…  not sure… I will have a go (although only two of us in the family would eat them) and share the results… and does anyone make thin gravy any more? I don’t mean watery gravy, thin gravy is a particular gravy – in my dad’s family they used to have it when they had sausages for breakfast!

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