Pork, fennel, apple and sage stuffed onionsDifficulty: Not difficult
8 red onions
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 small or ½ large fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds reserved
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
450g free-range British pork sausagemeat
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 apple, cored and grated
Bunch fresh sage, leaves picked and finely chopped
- Heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Slice the tops off the red onions and trim the bases so they sit flat. Peel, then use a teaspoon to scoop out as much of the middles as you can. Put the scooped-out flesh in a food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped. Set aside a third in a large bowl for the recipe and save the remainder for another recipe (see tip). Put the onion shells in a roasting tray.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the chopped onion and fennel with a pinch of salt. Cook gently for 10 minutes until softened, then turn up the heat and add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until starting to caramelise. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.
- To the chopped onion mixture in the bowl, add the sausage meat, breadcrumbs, apple, sage and some salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix together well. Fill the onion shells with as much stuffing as possible, then roll any remaining stuffing into balls (see Make Ahead).
- Drizzle the stuffed onions with a little olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes, then add the remaining stuffing balls and continue cooking for 30-35 minutes until crisp on top and the sausage meat is cooked through. Serve scattered with the reserved fennel fronds and a little black pepper.
- Make to the end of step 3 up to 2 days ahead and keep covered in the fridge.