Baked onion

Baked Onion

The backbone of the typical Western savory dish, there were times in the past where this unassuming aromatic was indeed a backbone for much of Europe’s poor. And this traditional recipe for baked onion is testament to those (not too) distant days.

Irish dishes don’t come simpler – or cheaper – than straight-forward baked onion. But this is our history, the far West and far East of Europe have always been the periphery, oppressed and stayed poor. Harsh environments where you made do with what you had, and authentic folk culture thrived.

Even today, you can be sure parts of Eastern Europe have onion cults, in the mold of Irish-American novelist J.P. Donleavy’s The Onion Eaters. Meeting up down the village to pay nocturnal homage to the Life Giver.

Seriously, there are a couple of regions so notoriously frugal that at certain times of the year you are very much relying on what you’ve kept in store (cured, pickled or buried). Otherwise get used to most meals of the day encompassing a spectacularly narrow range of ingredients: 1) Onions and 2) Leftovers from other onion dishes.

That’s not a backbone ingredient, that’s a skeleton!

Historically, the abundance and sheer nutritional value of Irish potatoes saw the Irish peasant better fed than their continental counterpart. But we were also pretty heavy onion fiends, too, as these traditional Irish appetizers or sides – or Irish dinner, in some cases – remind us.

Baked Onion Tastes MUCH Better than it Sounds!

Baked onion is a one-ingredient folk dish that’s tastier than you’d think. And if you thought Wexford strawberry mousse was easy to make, try this on for size!

Best make a note of the ingredients now, lest you forget (the) one.

It might also be a bit of a (brain-)cloudy day on your end. And there is a distinct possibility you’ve been reading regular blogs rather than the all-engaging ANTIblog. So, we’ll take it slow. Just in case.

Begin by Gently Turning on your Oven, taking care to Adjust the Dial to 260 degrees Fahrenheit. Now Take (in your hands, with your hands) some Large Onions, the number of which we’ll leave up to you – you can gauge your village’s level of abundance better than we can.

Two baked onions - Irish appetizers
Irish appetizers in water

Carefully Place said onions in an Oven Tray. Once this has been accomplished, Pour some Water into the tray, until it sits an inch deep (in the tray). Once your Oven has preheated, Suavely but Safely Place the onion-containing tray inside.

Don’t forget to make a note of the time, small hand is hours.

Now! Well done! You must be thrilled with yourself! Hardly broke a sweat even, we bet.

So simple, really?

Well, the tricky part is that you’ll have to wait about 2 (two) hours until you can bring your onions done the village to gorge on outside the poorhouse. The onions we used were massive things, from some Spanish super stud farm, no doubt, so they took the full two hours. But do check them in the latter stage of cooking. If you can squeeze the onion, that means they’re done.

To serve, Peel off the skin, sever the root and Slice open that aromatic-shaped package of goodness. Add Butter, Salt and Pepper and Serve these ideal Irish appetizers straightaway.

The secret recipe of this dish is relishing the understated. Those tiniest of things that make life worth living. If we allow them to be as they are, perfectly plain, life takes on a pleasant tautness that all the brashness in the world could never reproduce.

Ingredients for Baked Onion

Makes Two Large Baked Onions

  • Two Large Unbaked Onions


  1. Preheat Oven to 260° F (130° C).
  2. Place Onions in an Oven Tray. Pour Water into tray until it sits 1 inch deep.
  3. Cook the Onions for up to 2 hours (until they can be squeezed). Serve with Butter, Pepper and Salt.