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Boiled Onions

Whole onions simmered until fork-tender, surrounded in a simple milk-and-butter broth, Boiled Onions is a simple classic New England dish that serves up big flavor.

Boiled Onions image ~ Whole onions simmered until fork-tender, surrounded in a simple milk-and-butter broth, Boiled Onions is a simple classic New England dish that serves up big flavor.


Everyone has those classic Thanksgiving dishes that grace their tables every year, right?  You know, the ones that are just such a tradition that the table just doesn't look right without them?

Well, for my Mom growing up, the New England classic Boiled Onions were that dish.  Whole onions simmered until fork-tender, surrounded in a simple milk-and-butter broth ... they were a dish my grandmother made every Thanksgiving without fail.

It's a tradition my Mom continued for our own Thanksgiving dinner when I was a kid.  And I absolutely loved them.  It's amazing that such simple ingredients ... just onions, milk, butter, salt, and pepper ... can come together to create such deliciousness.  But they truly do.

My favorite part?


The broth.  The milk broth picks up a subtle oniony flavor from the onions that just tastes so good.  I could gobble up just that with a spoon.

Several years ago, our Thanksgiving boiled onions tradition was replaced with a baked Creamed Pearl Onion Gratin that I adore, too.  But boiled onions will always hold a very special place in my heart.

So last week I whipped out Mom's old recipe and boiled up a batch for dinner.  They delivered up all the wonderful flavor I remember from my childhood.  Admittedly, our 7-year-old Little Miss H. was not a fan.  But as a kid, I sure loved them.

 Boiled Onions photo

Boiled onions are quite easy to prepare.

Simply peel onions and leave them whole, taking care to not cut into the layers beneath the skin as you peel.  Place the onions in a pot along with enough water to cover, and bring them to a boil.  Then allow them to simmer gently until fork-tender and soft, and but not broken and falling apart.

How to Make Boiled Onions photo

Drain the onions in a colander, and then return them to the pot along with some milk and butter.  Warm the milk and, finally, season with a little salt and pepper to-taste.

How to Make Boiled Onions image

That's it!  Quite simple, indeed.

Serve the onions in individual bowls with a little milk broth spooned over them, and a little sprinkle of salt and pepper on top.

Now if you're like me, you'll want a little extra of that delicious broth.  To me, that's the best part!

Boiled Onions picture
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Boiled Onions
(Print recipe)
Ingredients
  • 12 small-to-medium-sized yellow onions
  • 2 ½ c. milk
  • 2 T. butter
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley {optional}
Directions
  1. Peel onions, leaving them whole.
  2. Place peeled onions in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until onions are soft and tender but not falling apart (about 45 minutes, depending on size of the onions).
  3. Drain onions in a colander.
  4. Return drained onions to the pot and place over medium heat. Add milk and butter. Heat until butter is melted and milk is warm, but do not allow to boil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve in individual bowls with some of the warm milk poured over the onions. Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley, if desired.
Note:  Onions may be cooked ahead of time and reheated with the milk broth.  Cook and drain onions, as directed.  Refrigerate in the pot.  When ready to serve, add milk and butter to the pot and reheat over medium heat, being mindful to not let the milk boil.

Enjoy!


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This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

1 comment

  1. never heard of boiled onions what you use boiled onions for??

    ReplyDelete

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