This is something I wrote a couple of years ago about Soubise sauce:
We had roast lamb one Christmas Day and I made what I consider the traditional accompaniment, onion sauce. I did buy some mint to also make mint sauce, but unfortunately I forgot and so there was only onion sauce on offer… which only I ate… My version of onion sauce has the onions very gently cooked in butter to be soft but not browned, and then made into a sauce with plain flour, milk seasoning and a splash of sherry. Unfortunately I had no sherry so used port which made it pink… and not as appetising somehow. It tasted fine… but as I said, none of the family shared it so I now have quite a lot left – cream of onion soup I think! There are lots of ways to make it; my cousin who makes very fine onion sauce boils the onions in a little water then uses some or all of it to add to the sauce.
I didn’t realise that onion sauce – especially if puréed or blended (which never occurred to me) is called soubise; I wonder if my family would be more impressed if I called it soubise, and I wonder if the texture might be more pleasing if I did blend it? Maybe I should try this with the ordinary onion sauce I have left over… or maybe I should just make cream of onion soup!
And by the by… according to Wikipedia the word soubise can be associated with:
- Soubise, a salpicon of cooked and pureed rice and onions; used primarily “au gratin”
- Soubise sauce is based on Béchamel sauce, with the addition of a soubise of onion and rice purée.
- Soubise, Charente-Maritime, a commune of the Charente-Maritime département, in France
- Benjamin, Duke of Soubise (? 1580-1642), Huguenot leader
- Charles, Prince of Soubise (1715–1787), peer and Marshal of France
- Julius Soubise (1754–1798), freed Afro-Caribbean slave and noted British fop
- Prince of Soubise
- Princess of Soubise
- Hôtel de Soubise, a Parisian mansion
By the way, in case you were wondering – a salpicon or salpicón, means a mixture, hotchpotch or medley in Spanish and refers to a mixture of different foods chopped up small and stirred into a sauce.
It’s exactly five months since Christmas, we had the traditional turkey last year, not lamb as we did when I wrote about soubise sauce… but according to the National Mark Calendar for cooking, May is just the time for stuffed egg soubise – and the onion sauce it recommends is, according to them ‘very far removed from the slimy white sauce with pieces of half-cooked onion floating dismally about in it… onion sauce should never be lumpy.’
- 2 lbs of onions, finely minced and scalded for three minutes in boiling water then dried
- béchamel or white sauce
- pinch of sugar
- hard-boiled eggs, cut in half, yolks removed
- buttered toast or fried bread
- fry the minced, scalded, dried onions in butter with the lid on until soft
- add the white/béchamel sauce
- add salt and sugar, cook gently for half an hour
- rub through a sieve and stir in cream
- add the egg yolks and stir in well
- fill the half eggs with sauce, piling up as much as you can
- place on the toast/fried bread and brown under the grill
This may seem an awful lot of trouble, but in the days when maybe you only had a few inexpensive ingredients, then this would probably be tasty and different from the normal fare.