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Home > Articles > Fairway Assured Beer Battered Onion Rings: Perfect Pairings and Innovative Variations 

Fairway Assured Beer Battered Onion Rings: Perfect Pairings and Innovative Variations 

Introducing the new Fairway Assured Beer Battered Onion Rings, striking a perfect balance between a crunchy shell and a tender, sweet core. Their homemade appearance and taste make them an excellent choice for professional chefs. Supplied 10x1kg, they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. 

Here, we’ll look at the history of onion rings, our chef’s experience using them and some inspirational pairings and innovative twists to get you going!

The History of Onion Rings

The earliest known recipe for what we now recognise as onion rings can be traced back to John Mollard’s 1802 British cookbook, ‘The Art of Cookery, Made Easy and Refined’. Here, Mollard describes a method for creating ‘fried onions’ which involves coating half-inch-thick onion slices in a batter before frying them in lard. These early onion rings were then served with a side of melted butter enhanced with mustard, providing a tangy complement to the dish’s rich flavour.

Onion rings gained popularity in North America around the 1930s, a trend likely influenced by the introduction of Crisco. This vegetable shortening was marketed as a healthier alternative for frying foods. This innovation in cooking fats may have contributed to the widespread adoption of fried foods, including onion rings, which were celebrated for their taste and texture.

In Britain, onion rings are considered an essential side to a steak dinner. The combination of a juicy steak, crispy chips, and golden onion rings has become a beloved national dish, reflecting our love for all things tasty and comforting.

Our Chef’s Experience

I usually make my onion rings from scratch, cutting the onions, making the batter, dipping them in flour, then batter, then deep frying. It was a messy job, with flour and batter everywhere. However, I make them because I don’t usually enjoy the pre-made ones as much. 

A couple of days later I had the opportunity to try the new Fairway Assured Battered Onion Rings. 

Handmade v Premade

I was pleasantly surprised that the Fairway Assured new onion rings were pretty much the same as the ones I make, crispy but light, sweet and tangy from the beer but savoury at the same time without the funny aftertaste you get from most commercial onion rings. 

They also hold their crispiness well and don’t go soggy quickly. Not all onion rings are created equal but these Fairway Assured Beer Battered Onion Rings have everything you want in an onion ring. Their premium quality beer batter coating and fillings set them apart.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Onion rings are a versatile side dish that can accompany a variety of main courses. When considering serving options, it’s important to pair them with complementary flavours and textures to create a harmonious dining experience. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Classic Pairings:

  • Burgers: The crunch of onion rings is a classic accompaniment to the juicy texture of burgers.
  • Steak: A side of onion rings adds a delightful contrast to the rich, savoury flavours of steak.
  • Hunters Chicken: The combination of chicken, bacon, cheese, and BBQ sauce works well with the sweetness of onion rings.

Vegetarian and Lighter Options:

  • Veggie Burgers: A great way to add texture to a meat-free meal.
  • Black Bean Tacos: The crispiness of onion rings complements the softness of the tacos.
  • Salads: Pair with coleslaw, sweet broccoli salad, potato salad, or roasted vegetable salad for a refreshing contrast.

Onion rings can complement a wide array of dishes, from spicy buffalo cauliflower bites to creamy macaroni and cheese, adding a satisfying crunch that diners love.

Dips and Sauces: Complementing Your Onion Rings

Dips and sauces are the secret to taking onion rings from good to great, offering a burst of flavour that complements the crispy, savoury snack. Here are some popular choices and creative twists that can cater to a variety of taste preferences:

Classic Dips and Sauces

  • Classic Ketchup: A simple yet popular choice that balances the onion’s sweetness.
  • Fry Sauce: A blend of mayonnaise and ketchup or barbecue sauce that adds a tangy twist.
  • Creamy Dips: Yoghurt, sour cream, or cheese-based sauces work well with the crispy texture.

Ketchup Variations:

  • Traditional ketchup is a staple, but mixing it with mayonnaise or hot sauce can create a more complex flavour profile.
  • For a homemade touch, chefs can craft a rich tomato sauce, tailored with herbs and spices to suit their menu.

Mayonnaise Mix-Ins:

  • A base of creamy mayonnaise is versatile; by adding honey mustard or garlic powder, chefs can offer a dip with a zesty or spicy kick.
  • For a more refined palate, blending in fine herbs or a squeeze of citrus can add a fresh dimension.

Barbecue and Tartar Twists:

  • Barbecue sauce, known for its smoky depth, can be personalised by creating a signature homemade blend or bought in for convenience. 
  • Tartar sauce provides a tangy counterpart to onion rings, with finely chopped dill, parsley, or capers.

To cater to the adventurous diner, chefs might consider these innovative combinations:

Spicy Sriracha Mayo:

  • A blend of Sriracha and mayonnaise delivers a creamy heat, which can be adjusted according to spice tolerance.
  • To add brightness and depth, personalise with lime juice, garlic powder, or chopped coriander.

Sweet Mustard Options:

  • Equal parts honey and mustard create a classic sweet-tangy dip, with alternatives like maple syrup or brown sugar for varying sweetness.
  • Such sauces can double as a glaze for other dishes, showcasing the versatility of the ingredients.

Signature Sauces:

  • Chefs can craft their own horseradish sauce, ranch dressing, or zesty sauce by combining specific ingredients for a unique offering.
  • Cheese-based sauces or spicy concoctions can reflect the chef’s style and complement the onion rings.

Other dips that pair well with onion rings include hummus for a Mediterranean twist, tzatziki for a refreshing bite, or a rich cheese sauce for indulgence. 

Innovative Variations of Onion Rings

Innovative chefs are constantly seeking ways to reinvent classic dishes, and onion rings are no exception. Here are some inventive variations that can add an exciting twist to any menu:

Lasagna Layering:

For a surprising crunch within a classic Italian dish, try incorporating onion rings into lasagna layers. The key is to add them between sheets of pasta and sauce, so they maintain their texture without becoming soggy.

This method not only adds a unique textural element but also infuses the lasagna with a subtle onion flavour that complements the rich cheese and tomato components.

Beer-Battered Onion Ring Tower: 

Create a visually impressive tower of onion rings by layering different sizes and serving with a selection of dips. This could be an eye-catching appetiser or shared dish.

Onion Ring Nachos: 

Layer crispy onion rings with melted cheese, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, and black olives. Serve with sides of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream for a twist on traditional nachos.

Onion Ring Salad Toppers: 

Add a crunchy element to salads by topping them with crispy onion rings. They pair especially well with robust salads featuring steak, blue cheese, or robust greens like kale.

Share Boxes and Platters:

Share Boxes are on trend. People like to think they’re getting value for money in our current climate. Gemini’s, a Chinese takeaway in Manchester, recently went viral after a customer posted their £20 share box and are now struggling to keep up with demand. 

Share boxes aren’t just for takeaways either, sharing platters can be made in pubs and restaurants and onion rings are a great addition to a share box especially as they go with most foods. The Fairway Assured onion rings are brilliant for this as they stay crispy. You can even have half natural and half in a spicy BBQ sauce for an eye-catching effect that will attract customers (insert photo Simon did of our sharing platter)

One setting onion rings are a must-have is takeaways. I spoke to my friend, Laura Tulley from the takeaway business, Taste Moor in Ilkley, who specialises in gyros. 

Taste Moor’s popularity blew up when Danny Malin from Rate My Takeaway gave them 10/10 one hot summer’s day when he set his table up down by the Wharfe and ordered a gyros share box. Since then they have been busy every weekend serving their signature gyros. On selling onion rings as sides Laura said, “We sell beer battered onion rings, the profit margins for them is really good, especially when it’s extra to a main, we’re thinking of doing a sides share box to go with our gyros share box soon too”.

The Fairway Assured Beer Battered Onion Rings are a superior choice for chefs seeking quality and convenience. These vegetarian and vegan-friendly rings maintain a homemade taste and texture an ideal crispy complement to a wider range of dishes. Please contact your local rep for details.   

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