These beanpot onions are terrific next to, or on top of, roasted beef or lamb—or enjoy them the way Sheehan did as a kid, on a slice of rye bread.
By Yankee Magazine
Sep 27 2016
Sheehan’s Beanpot Onions.Photo Credit : Michael Piazza
“I didn’t love beans when I was young, but this dish gave me all sorts of great flavors in one fell swoop,” chef Marc Sheehan says. In his kitchen, Sheehan cures pork jowl and uses it instead of salt pork in this dish; however, store-bought salt pork works well. He also makes a rich, flavorful broth out of roasted pork bones, but homemade chicken stock (or store-bought reduced-sodium stock) is a fine substitute. These beanpot onions are terrific next to, or on top of, roasted beef or lamb—or enjoy them the way Sheehan did as a kid, on a slice of rye bread.
1/4 pound salt pork, rinsed of excess surface salt and patted dry
1 1/4 pounds creamer or pearl onions, peeled
1–2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3–4 cups warm pork or chicken stock
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Garnishes: freshly grated horseradish and chopped chives
Preheat your oven to 300° and set a rack to the middle position.
Cut the salt pork into 1-inch squares; then add half to a medium-size Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until the fat begins to render but doesn’t brown, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the onions, and sear on one side until golden brown, another 5 minutes; season with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Add the brown sugar, molasses, and mustard with enough warm stock to cover (start with 3 cups and work up as needed). Add the remaining salt pork. Pour the contents into a beanpot (or keep it in the Dutch oven); cover and bake 2 hours.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions from the pot to a serving bowl. Reduce the liquid over medium-high heat until thickened. Add the vinegar, and season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed. Pour the sauce over the onions and garnish with horseradish and chives.