6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds)
4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces), diced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh sage
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, plus to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus for buttering the dish
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Peel the onions, but leave the root end intact. Pour about 2 inches of water into a large saucepan and set up a collapsible steamer inside. Steam the onions until easily pieced by a knife, about 30 minutes. (For more tender onions you may steam them a little longer; however, they might be somewhat harder to hollow out. Either way they're delicious!) Set aside to cool. Slice off about a third of the top portion of each onion. Using a paring knife, cut out the insides of each onion, leaving about 4 outside layers intact, to make a container for stuffing. Chop the onion insides and tops. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crispy and the fat has rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped onion, herb sprigs, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and sugar. Season with pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Add the wine and cook until dry, scrapping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to get up any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and remove from the heat. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the cheese and mustard. Lightly butter a baking dish. Season the inside of the onions with salt and pepper, and spoon the stuffing into each onion cavity, mounding it slightly on top. Set the onions in the dish. Heat the butter in the skillet. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until they absorb the butter. Spoon the buttered breadcrumbs on top of each onion. Roast the onions until well browned and heated through, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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