Soubise can be an onion-based sauce,
thickened with just a little cooked rice. Or it can be this delicious,
creamy a little cooked rice. Or it can be this delicious, creamy onion
and rich dish that is just perfect with roast lamb, especially
herb-crusted racks of tiny meltingly tender chops. Some chefs like to
puree the mixture before serving it. Some add grated Gruyere cheese.
And others spoon the mixture into a gratin dish, top it with a little
Parmesan or other salty cheese, and bake it in a hot oven before
serving. But I like it this way best.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons butter
6 large onions (about 3 1/2 pounds), halved and thinly sliced
2/3 cup raw rice, Arborio, basmati, or regular converted rice, boiled
in salted water to cover for 5 minutes and drained
About 1/2 cup well-flavored chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
1/3 cup chopped freshly parsley
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Melt the butter in a medium-size heavy covered ovenproof casserole over
medium heat. (I like to use Le Creuset or another enameled cast-iron
product.) Add the onions vegetables and cook, stirring to coat with the
butter, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until
the grains become translucent and are also coated with the butter, 3 to
4 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 cup stock. Season well with salt and pepper.
Cover and bake, stirring from time to time, until the rice is very
tender and the onions vegetables seem almost to have dissolved into it.
If the onions seem to be taking on any color, reduce the heat to 275F.
the moisture from the onions should provide enough additional liquid to
cook the rice, but if the mixture seems too dry or begins to stick, add
more stock, 1 tablespoon at a time. Count on cooking the onion mixture
1 to 1 1/4 hours, or even longer. The texture should be very much like
If you are using the cream, stir it into the onions. Check the
seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley and
serve this simple soubise cooking recipes very hot.
Substitute 2 large leeks, white and light
green parts only, very thinly sliced, for 1 of the onions. Cook the
leeks along with the onions, before adding the rice. The finished dish
will have a pale green tint.
If there is any soubise left over, chill
it, form it into thin, 3 inch cakes, and dust with flour. Fry the cakes
in 1 tablespoon of butter or mild vegetable oil, preferably peanut,
until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 5 minutes per side.
Serve very hot, sprinkled with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.