Onions and parsley sauce

Serves 4

This is a dish you don't see that often. It takes my gran's boiled onions to the next level. It is a great accompaniment to boiled ham or mutton, Sunday roasts, or as a vegetarian main course.

This is a dish you don't see that often. It takes my gran's boiled onions to the next level. It is a great accompaniment to boiled ham or mutton, Sunday roasts, or as a vegetarian main course.

There are lots of different types of onions available these days, from the delicious French Roscoff to the little flat Italian cippoline. For this recipe, stick to white onions; don't try to be clever and use red ones. If you do, you'll only end up with a yucky-looking pink sauce. Sure, it might taste fine but it will put everyone off before they've even tried it.

600-800g small white onions, peeled
1.5 litres vegetable stock, or a good-quality cube dissolved in that amount of water
50g butter
40g flour
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2tbsp chopped parsley
1tbsp double cream

Put the onions into a saucepan with the vegetable stock and lightly season. Bring to the boil and simmer with a lid on for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the onions, until soft but not falling apart.

Drain the onions in a colander, reserving the stock. Melt the butter in the pan the onions were cooked in and stir in the flour on a low heat. Gradually add the reserved stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming (a whisk helps), bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Add the parsley, cream and onions and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Eat with toast.

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