There is something to be said about the smell of caramelized onions, and it is not unusual in my house, to slowly cook caramelized onions at least once a week. I love the low and slow process of watching delicious onions turn into a great dark brown color, which is just packed full of flavor. I often place caramelized onions on pizza, sandwiches, and baked potatoes, but this past week, I wanted to do something different, so I can up with the idea of making a caramelized onion gratin.
You might have seen my scalloped potatoes recipe before, and obviously this recipe is similar to that, but packed with a few extra goodies. This takes a bit of prep work, but well worth it, and is a perfect side dish to a holiday dinner.
- 5 whole yukon gold potatoes, cleaned, and sliced very thin
- 10 slices of good bacon, cooked and crumbled, bacon grease reserved
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- splash of worcestershire sauce
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt, pinches for each layer
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, pinches for each layer
- 1/2 cup of roasted red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup of half and half
- 1 cup of Monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 shaved parmesan cheese
- 4 sandwich size slices of colby jack
- pinch of red chili flakes
- cooking spray
Begin preparing all of your ingredients. Slowly cook the bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from the pan, let them drain on some paper towel, then crumble. Next, toss your onions into a bacon skillet with the butter and continue to cook on medium heat, cooking for nearly 35-40 minutes. Be careful not to burn the onions, so stir every 5 minutes or so. Towards the end, toss in the garlic, and the worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
During this time, slice your potatoes really thin. Spray a bit of cooking spray on your baking dish, or gratin pan if you have something of that sort. Get your cheeses ready as well.
Once the onions are caramelized, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Now is the time to begin layering your gratin. Add a layer of potatoes to the bottom of the pan, season with a bit of salt and pepper, then top with some of the crumbled bacon, the monterey jack and parmesan cheeses, some of the caramelized onions, as well as some of the roasted bell pepper. Repeat this process two more times. Pour the half and half around the perimeter of the dish, shower the top with the green onions, then top with the colby jack cheese, and sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes on top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
After the 40 minutes, remove the foil, and cook for another 40 minutes, uncovered. This will help get things nice and golden and melt the cheeses in all of the right places, building up another layer of flavor.
Remove, and let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing into it.
This caramelized onion and bacon gratin knocks it out of the park. Really rich, and really comforting, this is a great side for any meal. Hope you enjoy.