Vegan Bamberg Onion. Large onions, hollowed out and stuffed with a vegan filling of chestnut mushrooms and black beans. Served with mashed potatoes and a German smoked beer gravy, giving it a unique and incredible flavour.
What makes this dish stand out is the German Rauchbier (smokebeer). The onion is basted in it while cooking and it is used in the gravy. The smoked beer gives the dish a unique and incredible flavour. Without the beer, the dish wouldn’t be the same.
As the name of the dish implies it originates in Bamberg Germany, where the last two breweries in the world to make traditional smoked beer are located. For the recipe, we used Schlenkerla Rauchbier which is readily available online here in the UK and is also shipped worldwide.
The filling is traditionally made with meat. To make it vegan we use mushrooms and black beans with smoked paprika to give the filling a smoky flavour.
Vegan Bamberg Onion
- Casserole dish with a lid or a Dutch oven
- 4 large onions
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup smoked beer
- Chives finely chopped
- Mashed potatoes for serving
- 1 stale roll or slice of bread
- ¼ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 2 tablespoons milled flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 g mushrooms
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tin black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 sprig of marjoram chopped
- 1 sprig of parsley chopped
- Start by preparing the onions. Peel and remove a small part of the root end so it sits flat. There should still be some of the root left. Also, cut off the top and put it to the side. Now using a spoon carefully scoop out the inside of the onion leaving 2 or 3 layers on the outside.
- Chop up half of the onion insides and reserve for later. The other half is not used in the recipe and can be kept for another recipe.
- Now make the filling
- Put the stale roll or slice of bread in a bowl and pour over the plant milk to soak into the bread.
- Put the milled flaxseeds in a small dish and pour over 3 tablespoons of water.
- Clean any dirt off the mushrooms then chop them into a small crumb-like texture.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they have released all their liquid and the liquid has cooked off.
- Add the reserved chopped onion insides and cook until translucent, around 2 minutes. Add the carrot and salt and cook until the mixture is quite dry, around 4 minutes.
- Next, add the tomato paste and spices and cook for another minute. Stirring to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the soaked bread and break it up in the pan and mix it into the other ingredients.
- Finally, add the black beans, milled flaxseeds and herbs, stir everything well to combine then switch off the heat.
- Preheat an oven to 200°C / 180°C fan.
- Fill each of the onions with the filling. Fill them to the top and place the top of the onion back on it.
- In an oven-safe casserole dish with a lid or Dutch oven add the onions. They shouldn’t be touching the sides.
- Mix the vegetable broth and the smoked beer in a jug. Pour half the liquid into the casserole dish with the onions.
- Place the lid on the casserole dish and place it in the oven for 50 minutes. Removing the lid halfway through cooking. When removing the lid baste the onions with some of the remaining beer and broth liquid by pouring some of it over each onion.
- Once done, remove the onions from the casserole dish and pour the liquids from the bottom of the dish into a pan over medium heat. If using a Dutch oven just use that to make the gravy. Add any remaining basting liquid. Now add the flour by sifting it into the liquid while whisking. Keep whisking until the gravy has thickened then turn off the heat.
- Serve the onions on a generous helping of mashed potatoes with the gravy poured over. Garnish with chopped chives.