Thursday, December 02, 2010

How to Make Garlic Confit (for cooking or for a homemade Christmas gift)

I'd love to tell you that I'm far enough ahead in my Christmas planning that I already made this garlic confit for a savory homemade Christmas gift idea, but the truth is that I made this for a recipe and then I had the thought that it would be pretty in little jars as a homemade Christmas gift.   If you're trying to think of something besides cookies or other sweet treats to give away to neighbors or co-workers, this is a perfect gift for the garlic lovers in your life.  In a glass jar, with a layer of oil over the garlic cloves, the garlic confit will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, and it's great added to pasta sauce, soup, stew, or any dish where you'd like that roasted garlic flavor.  I found the recipe in How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking, a great book that my blogging friend Lydia sent me for an early birthday present, and if you can find pre-peeled garlic cloves, this practically makes itself.


Put 3 cups of peeled garlic cloves into a heavy oven-proof dutch oven.  (I used the Christopher Ranch Garlic Cloves from Costco.  They now come in a bag instead of a jar, but I've been using them for years.

Add 2-3 dried bay leaves, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Then pour in 1 cup olive oil and 1 cup grapeseed or canola oil.  (I didn't have fresh thyme so I used my frozen thyme leaves.)

Cover the pan and cook the garlic in a pre-heated 300F/150C oven until the garlic is fragrant, tender, and just starting to get golden in spots.  The recipe said an hour and 15 minutes, but I cooked it nearly 2 hours.  Watch it carefully towards the end though, because if it gets too brown the garlic will be bitter.

Let the garlic cool and transfer to small glass jars, pouring in enough oil to be sure the garlic cloves are covered with oil.  (The original recipe said to cover the surface of the oil with plastic wrap, but I didn't do that.) 
How to Make Garlic Confit
(Makes about 5-6 small jars of garlic confit, depending on the size of the jars; recipe from How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking by Michael Psilakis.)

3 cups peeled garlic cloves
2-3 dried bay leaves
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (I used my frozen thyme leaves and I think you could substitute a smaller amount of dried thyme)
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1/2 tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
1 cup olive oil
1 cup grapeseed or canola oil

Preheat oven to 300F/150C.

Put garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, salt, olive oil, and grapeseed or canola oil into small heavy dutch oven with an oven-proof lid.  Put pan into oven and cook on low heat until the garlic is fragrant, very tender, and just starting to turn golden-brown in spots. The original recipe said 1 hour and 15 minutes, but I cooked mine nearly two hours before I felt the garlic was completely tender.  Watch it carefully towards the end because the flavor will be bitter if the garlic gets too brown.

Transfer to small glass jars with tight-fitting lids, making sure there is a layer of oil covering the garlic cloves at all time.  This will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator as long as the garlic stays covered with oil

Use mashed garlic confit anywhere that you'd like a roasted garlic flavor.  The oil is also great for sauteeing.

(Edit - I heard from a reader with the concern that garlic stored in oil can produce botulism.  I did some research on this and did find concerns about storing garlic in oil at room temperature.  I found several sources that said garlic can be safely stored in oil IN THE REFRIGERATOR for up to three weeks, which is what this book also said.  If you're giving this as a gift, I would let people know how quickly they need to use it, and maybe package in small jars to be on the safe side.)


Printer Friendly Recipe


Ideas for Using Garlic Confit:
Garlic Confit Vinaigrette from The Kitchn
Seared Halibut and Flageolet Beans with Garlic Confit from WrightFood
Chicken Risotto with Garlic Confit and Carrots from Anne's Food
Clams Marinieres from The Paupered Chef
Cannellini Beans with Onions and Garlic Confit from Mixed Greens

More Ideas for Savory Gifts from the Kitchen: 
Rosemary Salt from Kalyn's Kitchen
Rosemary and Garlic Herb Rub from Kalyn's Kitchen
Herbes de Provence from French Kitchen in America
Make Your Own Flavored Salts from Steamy Kitchen
Panch Phoron Bengali Spice Mix from The Well Seasoned Cook
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26 comments:

  1. We are just coming into garlic season in Australia. I have a pact with myself to use only organic, Australian garlic because in this country the cheap and out of season product tends to come from China where we are told that human excrement is used as a fertilizer (anyone know if this is true?). By early autumn local/organic garlic is either unavailable or >$55/kg which makes it a precious condiment. I never seem to plan ahead and have enough garlic stored to get me through that month or so. But this weekend a friend is bringing me a few bunches of locally grown garlic and i'll confit some instead. Thanks for the recipe, I look forward to making it.

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  2. What a fantastic idea! I would love to have a jar of these cloves sitting in my fridge, just waiting to be popped into any dish I'm cooking.

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  3. I don't know if that's true about how garlic is grown in China, but it would certainly make me avoid the Chinese garlic if it is!

    Dara, they're really hard, and tasty!

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  4. Sounds great; thanks for sharing!

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  5. Trader Joes has a bag of pre-peeled Garlic in their own little baggies in a larger bag. Its perishable, but if you only want a little bit, it works if you don't have a Costco near ya.

    1.99 for the bag at TJ's. I have bought it for MANY uses, including roasted brussels sprouts with roasted garlic (my side dish for thanksgiving, which went over AWESOME).

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  6. I love this photo, and I love buying those big packages of pre-peeled garlic at Costco, and I love garlic. I think this is a project for next week! Those who receive your garlic confit will be very lucky cooks indeed.

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  7. Kalyn, the new layout rocks and I haven't found any problem with my brower..I love that garlic dish..makes a great gift right..thanks!

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  8. Whoa this is definitely an awesome gift idea since I'm sure everyone will be super tired of sweets by the end of the holiday season. I may even have to gift it to myself...

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  9. Now that's one healthy gift. Garlic is nature's antibiotic.
    Thank you for the tip.

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  10. Anyone else having trouble with printer-friendly version? When I hit that link, Blogger is trying to make me sign up for my own blog! While I wish I were capable of writing a fun food blog, I really just want to print off your wonderful recipe so I can make it for my Gourmet Club as Christmas gifts! Love your site, Kalyn!

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  11. April, thanks for letting me know about the PF recipe not working; just fixed it! (And totally my fault, sorry about that.)

    Thanks everyone for the nice feedback about this post and the new blog design!

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  12. This sounds delicious... I bet the oil is amazing for dipping crusty bread.... which wouldn't be so SBD, but would be very tasty!

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  13. This is such a great idea. Thank you for sharing. Just bought tons of garlic and it is in the oven now! House smells great!!!

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  14. what a perfect idea. I'm on the search for DIY foodie gifts and this is perfect. Thanks for sharing Kalyn. By the way how did the picture in the Oprah show work out?

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  15. Damaris, I didn't see my photo on the show, but at the end there was a credit that said "Photography Credit Kalyn's Kitchen." The producer told me if they didn't use my photo I wouldn't get a credit, so I assume they used it somewhere (maybe on the DVD of the show or promotional materials)? Haven't seen it anywhere though, lol!

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  16. Great idea! Make up a batch and be set with garlic for a week or two ;-))

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  17. Oh Ouch!
    Love your blog, but feel I must comment on what a bad idea storing garlic in oil can be. You do not want to give your friends Botulism for Christmas.
    Garlic in oil must be refrigerated and used within one week or frozen. You can read more on storing garlic safely from the University Of California here:

    cecalaveras.ucdavis.edu/garlic.htm

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  18. Megan, that information seems to refer to storing garlic in oil at room temperature. I do recommend storing this garlic confit in the refrigerator.

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  19. Megan, I also found this information from Oregon State University which says garlic in oil is safe for up to three weeks, which is what I said in the recipe.

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  20. I made the Garlic Confit and it was wonderful!!! After two or three days the oil turned solid did anyone else have the same experience?

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  21. My oil is not solid and mine has been in the fridge a couple of weeks.

    Glad you liked it. I would recommend that you read the caution about storing it in the fridge for too long.

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  22. DId you use new olive oil or the oil you roasted the garlic in? Thanks again! I posted a link to your recipe on my site!

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  23. I used the oil that the garlic was roasted in. (If you link to the recipe, please be sure people know it should only be stored in the fridge for three weeks.)

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  24. garlic confit is amazing.
    I know that no one will make it for me as a gift (but I might drop a few blunt hints).

    It looks great, the photos are awesome too.

    I'll definitely make some, ASAP.

    Thanks,
    Itai Matos (TFIM)

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  25. I adore this stuff. I made this last Christmas to hand out as gifts, and I'm doing it again as I type. I want to cry when my own jar runs out. The only place I can find peeled garlic at a good price is at a natural food store on the other side of town. This has been the best discovery in my cooking career. I adore garlic in everything, but this has made it so much simpler. The flavor is outstanding, and sauteing with the oil is out of this world. I know I posted on this before, but I sincerely cannot get enough. Thanks again, Kalyn.

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  26. CeeJay, so glad you are enjoying it so much!

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