Gordon Ramsay uses massive Leicestershire onion to create an eye-watering dish

Foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has cooked up a dish which will make your eyes water - and it's all thanks to a green-fingered vegetable producer from Leicestershire.

The Michelin star-winning restaurateur tackled a massive onion on the BBC's One Show on Tuesday creating some of the biggest onion rings ever made.

"Look at the size of this thing," said the television personality, as he held the over-sized vegetable in his hands.

But the culinary feat was only possible thanks to recording-breaking onion grower Tony Glover, from Moira, north west Leicestershire.

The 49-year-old has been in the spotlight since revealing his giant vegetable to world – an 18lb 11.5oz onion - at the Harrogate Flower Show, earlier this month.

His huge entry got him into the Guinness Book of Records and roused the interest of BBC producers who asked him donate an onion for Ramsay to cook up a feast with live on air.

Presenters Alex Jones and Matt Baker were stunned at the size of the finished rings, which came from Tony's second biggest offering, a 17lb onion - he had declined a request to let the chef chop up his world record-breaker.

Ramsay whipped up a batter made with flour, rice flour, salt and beer before deep frying the rings.

But Alex and Matt were also taken aback by the star chef's secret batter ingredient - gin.

"It comes from Japan," he said. "And it's an incredible way of making a beautiful batter that gives a touch of authenticity. You can taste the juniper berries but more importantly it gives it a really nice flavour – especially to the onion."

Ramsay also had a useful tip for the two presenters as they tucked into his culinary offering.

"Don't leave them in the deep fryer for too long," he said. "There's nothing worse than a soggy ring."

As well as featuring Tony's onion in the studio, a One Show crew also brought the mammoth vegetable back to Leicester to ask people what they would do with such a huge culinary ingredient.

Members of the public gave various suggestions including a fish curry.

But they eventually found chef Ahmed Mulla, from Bobby's restaurant, in Belgrave Road, who created onion bhajis and explained why the popular vegetable was so important in Asian cooking.

"Without onions, without garlic there is no taste in Indian food," he said.

And what is the secret of cultivating such an enormous vegetable?

"I've been trying for 30 years, said record-breaker Tony. "It's a combination of plenty of food and plenty of light."

Source: leicestermercury.co.uk
Publication date: 9/29/2014