Thursday, February 17, 2011

Slow cooker roasted red onions with thyme butter recipe

It's not often that you think of onions as being a stand alone vegetable but here, slow cooked with a thyme butter sauce, they are almost the star of the show. This pretty and delicious dish disappeared so fast I had no time to take a photo. I served them alongside Haggis on Burns Night but they would go well with beef, pork or indeed a vegetarian risotto. They are super-easy too which, if you're juggling a special dinner with lots of side dishes is a real bonus.

Ingredients for 6:

6 medium red onions
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried thyme
100 ml (1/3 cup) water or white wine


Mix the butter and thyme in a small bowl.

Cut a small slice off the bottom of each onion so that they will stand up in the slow cooker. Cut about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) off the tops of the onions and cut a cross into each one.

Smear the top of each onion with 1/2 tbsp of the thyme butter, pushing it well into the cross in the onion.

Put the onions into the slow cooker and pour the water or wine carefully into the slow cooker around them, being careful not to wash the butter off the onions.

Cook on High for 4 Hours or Low for 8. Swoon in delight.


Sumptuous. The onions become soft, silky and mellow but still hold some shape. The sauce is incredible and is lovely soaking into mashed potato or rice - if not make sure you have some good bread on the table. This is so, so easy but looks really impressive. I'd cooked something similar in the oven many years ago (maybe a Jamie Oliver recipe?) but this was even better because the onions stayed so moist. Love it.


  1. I'm a little confused as to how this recipe turns out. Could I serve it with just bread as a dip?

  2. I'm so sorry - a photo would really help here! What you end up with is onions that are still in recognisable onion shape. I tend to serve one per plate. Then there are lots of buttery juices with them which would make a great dipping sauce. If you chopped the onions up or even blended them, I guess they could make a dip but I've never tried. I may need to now! Or they might make a pretty, rustic appetiser with one onion per plate and bread for soaking up the juices.