Saturday, November 12, 2011

Onion and bacon tart. Oh, yes!

The latest issue of Saveur (no. 142) has a brillinat feature article on onions. I was flipping through it yesterday when my eyes lit upon this recipe. It seemed so amazing that I absolutely knew it had to be cooked-up as soon as possible. So here it is!

Incidentally, do yourself a favour and grab this issue. The onion centrefold (ish) is to die for, and there is also a great feature on Eastern European soups, which at this time of year is just what the doctor ordered. But I digress!

For this recipe, you'll need: 6 ounces of slab bacon, 4 tablespoons of butter (IT'S ALREADY AWESOME!), 2 yellow onions (I went for 3 just because), 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of dry mustard, 1 1/4 cups of milk, and 3 eggs (even more brilliant! ANYTHING with bacon and eggs in it is like a dreamy recipe of breakfast wonderment!). But I digress again....

Step one is to cut your bacon into "matchsticks." This is what the recipe calls for, but I've never seen matchsticks quite so stubby, wobbly, and fat, but you get the idea. Fry you bacon on medium until it gets nice and crispy.

In the meantime, get the onions ready. The recipe says to slice them lengthwise. I was noticing though, that my onions were kind of stumpy, and what I would normally consider the length was in fact the width! Anyway, I cut them from root to stem in thin slices. You should too.

While all this is going on you should heat your oven to 425.

When the bacon is done, remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon. Pour the bacon fat into a 9" x 11" baking dish (see how awesome this is?!). Put the butter into the still warm skillet, and fry up your onions...

...until they are nice and carmelised. (Note the tongs -- you are supposed to "sprinkle" these onions on the batter later, but sprinkling isn't really an option with your fingers (they're hot!), hence the tongs.)

While the onions are cooking, prepare the batter. This is basically a Yorkshire pudding batter like we had in Toad in the Hole, but here the toads are a little smaller (my eldest suggested worms in the hole as an alternative.) In any event, the first step is to mix the flour, dry mustard, and pepper.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the milk.

Pour it all together, and work it around until mostly combined.

Let the batter rest for around 10 minutes. During that time, fire your baking dish into the oven to heat up. This is important, since if you pour a Yorkshire pudding batter into an ice-cold cast iron pan, you're in for some sad dissapointment. You need the boost of pan heat to get that dough headed skyward! (GET YOUR OVEN MITTS ON NOW!)

After ten minutes of resting and heating, pour you batter into the pan. (I HOPE YOU HAD YOUR OVEN MITTS ON!)

Add the onions and bacon (WOW!).

Have a beer! (EVEN BETTER!)

And put it back in the oven (WITH YOUR OVEN MITTS) for 30 minutes. And then, voila!! Brilliant!!!

It may take a little delicate manouvering to remove the tart from the pan, so be patient -- you can do it! (Note, those extra greasy bits stuck to the bottom taste REALLY good -- just sayin').

The recipe says this can serve 6. I cut it into 4, and, speaking from experience, I could eat the whole thing (if I wanted to, which I did). So this serves from 1 to 6, depending on the nature of your guests. (Don't invite me unless you make two!)

Viva l'ongion!!


  1. Drooling. I'm making this one for sure when Ilse and family come here for Christmas. Bacon and butter -- what's not to like? Good beer choice, too.

  2. Hey Joe made this one yesterday for part of New Years Eve dinner. Perfect! Thanks for the idea.

  3. Hmm this look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.