Sīpolu mērce (Onion sauce)

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Overview
This is a Latvian staple – it goes with meats and potatoes equally well. I’ve changed mine quite a bit from what I grew up with, but the basic idea is the same. The traditional approach is to sauté the onions in butter, add some flour, cook for a minute and then add milk with some sour cream at the end.

Time
This depends on the ingredients you want. If you use onion paste, then that must be made ahead of time (keep some ready in the freezer!). Otherwise, it’s a 20 minute cook while the onions do their thing.

Ingredients
30g butter
1 punnet Swiss brown mushrooms (optional – but I love including them!)
2 onions (left over from patties)
40ml dry white wine
100ml onion paste
½ cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Method
1 – Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions and mushrooms until they start to caramelise. Add a teaspoon of sugar to hurry it along if you like.

2 – Add the wine and onion paste and cook over a low heat until reduced and rich in flavour.

3 – Towards the end of the cooking process, add the cream. Heat gently and do not allow it to boil. Give it a chance to reduce a little before serving with kotletes and/or mashed potato.