French Onion Soup (Pork Stock)

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I love caramelizing onions. There is no better excuse to make onion soup than wanting to smell it for hours on end.


Ingredients
1 stick butter
2 large yellow onions (the giant sweet kind)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
2 quarts Dark Pork Stock (see recipe in list)
Kosher salt
8 oz Gruyère cheese, grated (or good swiss)
1 baguette or other crusty bread
 
Directions
1. Slice onions: Peel and quarter the onions, then slice thinly.  I cut mine into wedges and feed them through the food processor slicing blade.  If you start the butter melting while you slice, you can dump the onions right into the pan. I sprinkle just a little salt on them - they say it helps the juices come out.
2. Caramelize onions: That butter you were melting - melt it over low-medium heat in a heavy saucepan.  I use a 10" cast iron skillet.  The onions pile up high above the pan when they first start cooking. Stir occasionally, making sure they do not stick and burn. Add garlic after 15 minutes or so.  Sprinkle with fresh-ground black pepper. Cook onions until they are golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
3. Heat stock: Heat the pork stock toward the end of the onion caramelizing.  I use a 4-quart saucepan.  When the onions are meltingly golden and you can no longer stand how good they smell, scrape the onions into the hot stock.
4. Deglaze and simmer:   Return the onion pan to the heat and pour in the wine, scraping up any bits of onion and any remaining juices.  Allow the wine to cook down and reduce for a few minutes, then scrape all of that into the stock as well.  Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Taste for seasoning:  I found I had to add quite a bit of salt, since my stock is usually not very salty.  I also added some white pepper.  The pork stock is lighter in color than the onion soup you get in restaurants, so I also added a few teaspoons of GravyMaster (which is really just caramel coloring in a bottle), but you don't need to.
6. Serve: Cut 6 to 9 thin rounds from the baguette. Distribute grated Gruyère on top of rounds. Broil, until cheese is melted, and beginning to brown. Ladle servings of soup into cups. Using tongs, transfer a cheese toast  (or two - or three) to each bowl. Serve immediately.
 
Notes:
I serve half the batch of soup to three of us, and freeze the rest for another round later.
Categories:
Cuisine   EuropeanDish   Soup
Cooking Method   SauteedPrep Time   15 to 30 minutes
Cooking Time   2 hours




Matriarchy

Member since Sep 2007

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