Food prøn: French onion soup
Homemade French onion soup! It’s not hard, but it is time consuming. It’s relatively inexpensive (except for the fancy cheese). Here’s how I make it:
Couple of pounds of beef short ribs
3 or 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 or 3 medium-sized roughly chopped yellow onions
Salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
Big block of Gruyère cheese
3 large white onions, thinly sliced
Half a stick of butter, plus extra to butter bread
French bread, sliced diagonally
Preheat oven to 375. Place short ribs, roughly chopped yellow onions and carrots on a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Bake for a couple of hours, turning at the half-way point. Remove from oven. Pour contents of pan, including juices, into Dutch oven or some other hardy cooking container.
Pour water in Dutch oven until contents are submerged by an inch or so. Add whole peppercorns, salt (tablespoon or so) and bay leaves. Simmer for a few hours. Here’s what it will look like:
When your Dutch oven broth is nearly done, place half a stick of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, place sliced white onions in pan. Turn heat down to low and stir occasionally for 45 minutes or so until thoroughly caramelized.
Cook the onions:
Stop cooking when onions are brown, sweet and caramel-y—they need to give up their sugar. It takes awhile.
While they’re cooking, strain the Dutch oven broth into a new container and place into fridge for a couple of hours. Discard the solids excerpt for the meat: Pick through short ribs, setting tender bits aside for the soup and giving the gristly bits to your companion animal(s), if applicable:
After the broth has chilled, take it out of the fridge and remove and discard the fat that has risen to the top of the container. Reheat broth on stove.
While broth is reheating, cut several thick slices of bread. Butter both sides and grill in a pan until golden brown on both sides.
Add meat and caramelized onions to broth. Turn oven broiler on high setting.
Grate cheese and place a layer into the bottom of an oven-proof bowl. Toast under broiler until lightly browned. Remove bowl and ladle soup into it. Place grilled bread slice on top of soup. Add a thick layer of cheese atop each bowl. Place under broiler until browned. Remove from broiler and enjoy!