Cheese Scalloped Onions

This is a dish I’ve been making since I was in high school. I think my teacher’s goal was to teach us how to make a cream sauce as it’s a great basic skill to have. So many dishes start with that: any vegetable in a cream, cheese or curry sauce, gravy, a souffle.

Basically, you start with some kind of fat (butter, oil or pan drippings) then add flour and cook that until the raw taste is gone or longer so that the fat and oil become browned. This is a roux. After the roux is made, the liquid is added. The amount of flour used determines how thick the sauce will end up; one tablespoon to one cup of liquid will produce a thin sauce, three tablespoons of flour will make a thick sauce.

For cheese scalloped onions, a thick sauce is what to make. The onions don’t completely drain and they get a little more watery when they cook. A thick cheese sauce at the start stops the onions from taking over the plate when they’re served.

Cheese scalloped onions are fantastic with roast beef. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever made roast beef without cheese scalloped onions since I learned how to make a cream sauce all those years ago.

Let’s begin!
Start with the onions.

Onions. Lots of them.

Onions. Lots of them.

Slice them.

Sliced onions.

Sliced onions.

Cook the onions in salted water.

Cooking the onions.

Cooking the onions.

Drain the onions and start the cheese sauce.

Add flour to butter in a saucepan.

Add flour to butter in a saucepan.

Make a roux.

Make a roux and cook it, over low heat, for 2 minutes.

Make a roux and cook it, over low heat, for 2 minutes.

Add the milk, stirring constantly so there are no lumps.

Add the milk.

Add the milk.

Bring to the boil to thicken the sauce. Keep stirring.

Add the cheese.

Add the cheese.

There’s your cheese sauce.

Cheese sauce.

Cheese sauce.

Pour the cheese sauce over the drained onions.

Cheese sauce covering the onions.

Cheese sauce covering the onions.

Bake the dish.

Cheese Scalloped Onions.

Cheese Scalloped Onions.

Served with roast beef and roasted carrots.

Cheese scalloped onions with roast beef and roasted carrots.

Cheese scalloped onions with roast beef and roasted carrots.

Cheese Scalloped Onions
Serves 4 – 6

5 medium onions, sliced lengthways
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup old shredded cheddar cheese

Cook onions in salted water to nearly tender – 10-15 minutes. Drain and place in greased 1-quart casserole.

Melt butter in saucepan. Blend in flour and salt and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk. Cook, stirring to boil. Stir in cheese. Pour over onions.

Bake covered for 35 minutes at 350°F. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 5 minutes more to brown the top.

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10 thoughts on “Cheese Scalloped Onions

    • Thank you. I hadn’t planned on writing about roast beef, but an entry on roasting potatoes is on the way.

      Meantime: Take the roast out of the refrigerator 1/2 hour before you’re going to cook it. Season the outside of the roast with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil on it. Place it in a preheated 475°F oven, then turn down the heat to 400°F right away. Cook the meat 15 minutes per pound for rare, add 15 – 20 minutes more for medium rare (depending on the size of the roast) and we will not discuss well done. Internal temperature for rare is 125°F – 130°F and 135°F – 140°F for medium rare. Leave the roast to rest, covered, for 15 minutes before carving. The internal temperature will rise a bit, so it’s better to take the roast out a little under the temperature you’re aiming at.

      How’s that?

  1. I made prime rib on Saturday for my son’s birthday. I made the same sauce but with crimini mushrooms it was amazing…. Fried the mushrooms first of course then added to the roux. Give it a try if u like mushrooms?

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