When garlic is slow cooked in olive oil with lots of herbs, something magical happens to it! Garlic confit has a soft and velvet like texture and a sweet and mild flavor. You can use the garlic and garlic-infused oil in absolutely everything you cook!
I find garlic confit to be one of the most beautiful things you can cook. Confit is a French cooking technique where something is cooked in lots of fat at a low heat and for a very long time. You’re probably most familiar with duck confit. While duck confit is made by slow cooking the duck in its own fat, garlic confit is made with butter or, my personal preference, a high quality extra virgin olive oil. For this reason, I have used Rich Glen Olive Oil. You can confit absolutely anything you like from tomato confit to salmon confit by using this technique.
Cooking Garlic Confit
The garlic is fully submerged in olive oil and simmers away until golden and brown and slightly caramelised. It will be soft to touch and have a buttery and velvet like texture that will melt at the slightest touch. To test the tenderness of the garlic, remove a clove and see if it can easily spread onto a piece of toast. I have infused the olive oil with extra flavour from the thyme leaves.
If you are still looking for a little extra flavour you can add rosemary, black peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon zest, flakey sea salt or dried chili flakes. Garlic confit can be made in the oven or on the stovetop in a saucepan. Once the garlic is cooked, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and place into sterilised jars. Fully submerge the garlic cloves with the garlic oil and use it as a cooking oil in anything you make!
How to serve garlic confit
You can use the garlic confit in almost anything from a pasta sauce, dips such as hummus, spreads on toast or sandwiches to the base of a comforting soup and salad dressing. You can also use them to make the most delicious roasted potatoes you will ever eat! The strong pungent garlic flavour softens and sweetens when it’s cooked confit style. This is why you might see me using double or even triple the amount of regular garlic! Garlic confit is a great protein that can be used in absolutely anything and everything!
Storing Garlic Confit
There are a few very important rules to follow when storing garlic confit. This is to avoid something called botulism.
Refrigerator – Once the garlic confit has slightly cooled, transfer them to sterilised air tight jars and place straight into the fridge. It’s important your garlic confit does not sit out at room temperature as this is when toxins that are created by the spores of bacteria that can increase the risk of botulism.
Timing – Confit is traditionally a preserving method and can allow the garlic to keep for several months. However, to be on the safe side I recommend to keep it for 2 – 3 weeks when stored correctly.
Peeling garlic cloves
I have tried every possible method out there on how to best peel garlic cloves. While you can resort to a big bag of pre-peeled garlic cloves, I always prefer to use fresh garlic.
Shake – You can place the garlic cloves into a jar, pop the lid on and shake them until the skin is removed. You need to shake the jar for a long time and you will get a sore arm!
Boiling hot water – In a glass bowl, fully submerge the garlic with boiling hot water and leave to sit for 5 minutes. The skin will loosen and will slide right off. This is my favourite technique for peeling lots of garlic!
Microwave – place the garlic into the microwave for 10 seconds and then skin should become loose. I don’t like this method as the garlic can slightly cook and also be very hot to touch!
Check out my other confit recipes:
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- 6 heads garlic
- 3 cups Rich Glen olive oil
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
- Peel the garlic by breaking the cloves away and placing them into a heatproof bowl. Submerge in boiling hot water for 5 minutes and drain. The skin will become loose and easy to peel away.
- Place the garlic cloves and thyme into an ovenproof dish and fully submerge in olive oil. It's important the garlic is fully submerged in the olive oil so it does not burn. Bake for 2 hours or until the garlic has browned in colour.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container or jar for up to several weeks in the fridge.