Here’s a tasty solution to the midweek dining blues — ground beef-and-bulgur-filled onions, topped with Parmesan and dill. Use any sweet onion — Vidalia, Spanish and red onions all work well. Just make sure they are as crisp and fresh as possible and that all will fit in the stoneware. Serve these with a tossed green salad, sprinkled with shredded carrots to add a sparkle of color, along with nutrients and flavor.
- ½ cup (125 ml) bulgur
- ½ cup (125 ml) boiling water
- 6 large sweet onions
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- 12 oz (375 g) extra-lean ground beef
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano leaves, crumbled
- ½ tsp (2 ml) salt
- ½ tsp (2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
- ½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine or chicken stock
- 1 can (14 oz/398 ml) diced tomatoes, including juice (see Tips )
- ½ cup (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped dill or parsley
Large (minimum 6 quart) oval slow cooker
1. In a bowl, combine bulgur and boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Cut off tops and bottoms of onions and peel. Hollow out the centers (see Notes) and discard. Drop prepared onions into a large pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in slow cooker stoneware with the hollows pointing up.
3. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add ground beef, garlic, oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Stir in bulgur.
4. Fill centers of onions with beef mixture, using a blunt object such as a kitchen knife to pack the filling in as tightly as possible. Pour remaining filling over onions.
5. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until onions are tender and mixture is hot and bubbly. To serve, place an onion on each plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with dill.