Monday, October 24, 2016

French Onion Soup

I like French onion soup a lot.  When it’s good, it is both sweet and savory with complex flavors and you get all those different textures.  But it takes a long time to make.  I use a version of the Cook’s Illustrated recipe that was published in the January 2008 issue.
  1. Peel and slice 4 lbs of onions.  Cut them about ¼ in thick along the lines of longitude.  If you cut them the other way they will disintegrate.
  2. Put them in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray and 3T of unsalted butter (Do I really need to specify unsalted?  Always get unsalted butter!)
  3. Cover and put in a 400F oven for 1 hour
  4. Stir, and put cover slightly ajar and cook for another 90 minutes
  5. Put on cooktop, stir and boild off the liquid.
  6. After about 15 minutes, let them sit so the bottom browns deeply – about 8 minutes
  7. Add ¼ cup water and scrape the fond off of the bottom of the pot.
  8. Let it sit for another 8 and scrape again.  Do this a couple more times.
  9. Add ½ cup sherry, and simmer it away.
  10. Scrape it off again and add:
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cups of beed stock
    • 6 sprigs thyme & a bay leaf ties up together.
  11. Simmer for 30 minutes then remove the herbs
  12. Put in oven-proof bowls, top with toasted bread and Gruyere cheese.
  13. Broil for 5-6 minutes, or until it looks right
  14. Enjoy with a nice wine

I use an enameled Dutch oven.  I have two from Le Cruset, a big one and a medium one, and use the big one for this dish.  I also have a cast iron Dutchy, but I don’t use that anymore.