– 4 tbsp flavourless oil (groundnut or melted beef dripping)
– 1 large red onion
– 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
– 1/2 tsp soft light brown sugar
– 1 tsp thyme leaves
– 175g plain flour
– 2 large eggs
– 160ml semi-skimmed milk
– 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1. Finely slice the red onions. Plus an additional 6 sprigs of the thyme leaves. Sift the plain flour Put 1 tbsp of the oil or dripping in a large frying pan set over a low-medium heat.
2. Add the red onion with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes until softened and just starting to colour.
3. Add the vinegar and brown sugar, increase the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are sticky.
4. Stir in the thyme leaves and set aside.
5. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
6. Divide the remaining oil or dripping among the holes of a six-hole muffin tin. Put it in the oven.
7. To make the batter, put the flour in a bowl and create a well in the centre.
8. Break the eggs into the well and, using a whisk, begin to incorporate them into the flour.
9. Add the milk and 120ml water, continuing to whisk to make a lump-free batter.
10. Whisk in the mustard and transfer to a jug.
11. You now need to work quickly, so have the caramelised onions and thyme sprigs to hand.
12. Remove the hot tin from the oven and swiftly divide the batter among the holes (it will splutter when it hits the hot oil).
13. Quickly spoon a sixth of the onion mixture into each hole and top with a thyme sprig.
14. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until well risen and browned.
15. Remove from the tins, season with salt and pepper and serve straightaway.
All of the ingredients listed above are available to purchase in all 17 M&S Irish Stores.