You know you’re Bosnian when you first chop up some onions and then decide what to cook for dinner. True that, true that. Majority of Bosnian meals contain word “stuffed” in it: stuffed peppers, stuffed zucchini, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed dough, stuffed cabbage leaves etc. But when you combine “stuffed” with those beloved onions you get the most authentic Bosnian dish. You can’t get any more Bosnian than that. This is it folks, the crème de la crème of stuffed things. I mean, isn’t it ingenious using the layers of onions as shells?
Stuffing onions is not as hard as it seems. Onions are first boiled until soft enough to be pried off, layer by layer. Each layer is then filled with the meat mixture and cooked again slowly at a low heat. We serve them drizzled with lemon juice, topped with a dollop of sour cream and a loaf of homemade bread on the side. This meal freezes well, so it makes sense to make a bigger batch. Onions lose they strong flavor by being cooked in vinegar water, becoming mild and sweet in taste. For dessert, I made another stuffed item – apples. I will post this yummy recipe soon.
In case you haven’t noticed, Bosnians LOVE to stuff stuff!
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup Rice
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon Paprika, ground
½ tablespoon black Pepper
1 tablespoon Salt
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Peel the onions and cut the ends. Tip: onions of the same size and shape ensure even cooking time.
Layer onions in a pot placing them tight next to each other. Top with remaining onions (you really don’t have to use them all) and add enough water or stock to cover. If using water, season with salt, pepper and paprika or Vegeta (Bosnian dry spice mix found at Meijer’s international isle). Cover and cook for 45-50 minutes over medium-low heat. I prefer to thicken the sauce with a light roux, but it is not necessary. Roux is a mixture of equal parts of butter or oil and flour. Heat one tablespoon fat in a pan and then add flour. Stir until flour is incorporated and cook over low heat until light brown in color. Mix in one tablespoon of tomato paste. Pour roux over onions within the last 10-15 minutes of cooking time.
To serve, transfer the stuffed onions onto plates and pour with sauce. Serve with lemon juice and sour cream and of course good quality bread.