unappetising grey colour once cooked; the flavour might be fine, but the look of the thing suffers slightly as a result. 25g dripping or half butter and
oil 4 large onions, peeled and cut
into quarters 1tspn sugar Salt and pepper 50ml red-wine vinegar 100ml beef or chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/ gas mark 4.
Heat the dripping or oil and butter in an ovenproof dish or tray that will accommodate the onions snugly and also happily sit on a naked flame. Once the fat is lightly sizzling, put in the onions, cut side down.
Gently cook until lightly coloured and turn over. Sprinkle with the sugar and seasoning, then pour in the vinegar. Allow the vinegar to bubble away to almost nothing and then pour in the stock.
Bring up to the boil and put into the oven, loosely covered with foil. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until soft.
Turn the oven temperature up to 230˚C/450˚f/gas mark 8, remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes or so, until the surfaces are blemished by golden-brown blisters. I know that it might sound completely bonkers to pair orange with onion, but, believe me, it is utterly delicious. The dish is Sicilian in origin, where it’s most often made using seasonal blood oranges and thin slices of blushing, pinky-red onions; think Mediterranean sunset, here, perhaps. Do please use the best olive oil you can afford for this surprisingly subtle assembly.