Salt Baked and Caramelised Shallots

3:17 am on 13 May 2009

(Serves 6)


  • 18 large shallots
  • 2 cups rock salt, for baking shallots
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat oven to 180C.

Brush the shallots to remove any loose skin but do not peel. cut a small cross on the root end.

Mix together the rock salt, thyme and bay leaf and sprinkle on a baking tray. Set the shallots on the salt.

Bake for 30 minutes until soft but not mushy.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully squeeze the shallot from its skin, trim and tidy the root end taking care to leave the roots intact so they will hold together during the caramelising.

To caramelise, place a heavy sauté pan over a medium to high heat. Add the olive oil, thyme and then the shallots.

Sauté until they begin to colour and caramelise.

Add the butter and increase the heat so that the butter melts to 'beurre noisette' (nut brown).

Continue to cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, basting as you go.

Remove from the sauté pan and use as recipe requires, or serve as an accompaniment to beef short rib, pheasant, or whole-roasted turbot, or with foie gras tortellini.

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