Pearl Onion Au Gratin


  • 2 pounds white pearl onions
  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 each shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • tabasco sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


1) Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil, then add all pearl onions and cook for 3 minutes.

2) Drain, and rinse the onions under cold water. Using a paring knife, trim the root end of the onion. Next, pinch the top of the onion so the skins peel off and the clean onion pops out.

3) Preheat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and pre-heat your oven to at 350˚f

4) In your hot pan cook the bacon until crispy, stirring occasionally.

5) Remove the bacon from your pan, and set aside on paper towels. Leave about 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan, and drain the rest.

6) Add 2 Tablespoons butter to the bacon fat in the pan, add shallots and garlic, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

7) Next you’ll add the flour to the pan and stir constantly making a roux for about two minutes.

8) Take the pan off the heat and add the heavy cream while whisking. Put the pan back over low heat, and bring contents to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and a 2-3 drops of tabasco sauce. Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, you can turn the heat off.

9 ) In a shallow baking dish, line the bottom of the dish with cleaned pearl onions, no more than 2 layers of onions. Season onions with salt, pepper, grated parmesan cheese. Pour the sauce into the dish, making sure the tips of the onions are above the sauce.

10) Bake the dish on the middle rack for 20 minutes. While the onions are cooking, mix together the lemon zest, bacon, parsley, and bread crumbs.

11) Once the onions have cooked for 20 minutes, add the bread crumb mixture to the top of the onions and bake for additional 10-15 minutes – until you have a nice golden brown crust and the sauce is bubbling slightly.

12) Let the pearl onions au gratin cool 5 minutes before serving.