A recipe from an inn at Southampton, where the onions were prepared in large trays, cooked in the bread ovens, and served to sailors for their supper. Each man poured some of his tot of rum into his bowl.
Choose 4 large onions, well shaped. Peel them carefully, cut a slice off the top of each to make a lid. Hollow the onions out till a sheep’s kidney will fit into each. Season the inside and put in skinned and cored kidneys, season again and put on lids of onion slices. Place all in a casserole, including the insides of the onions. Add stock to come half-way up the onions and place in a moderate oven to simmer for 1 hour. 20 minutes before serving add a glass of rum. Replace casserole lid and return to oven to cook a further half-hour.
Serve in individual bowls with an onion and some of the gravy and onion pieces in each. Traditionally eaten with a spoon and served with plenty of hot buttered toast.
©1975 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton