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Benjamin W. Herila

 

French Onion

Makes about 6-8 servings.

Ingredients

5 large yellow onions (about 5 lbs.)
3 tbs. unsalted butter
5 cups chicken stock
5 cups beef stock
1 cup hearty red wine
1/3 cup cognac or brandy
1 tbs. black pepper (freshly ground)
1 tsp. thyme (dried) -- or 1 sprig fresh
salt to taste

Preparation

Begin by completely filling a Dutch oven or oven safe pot with sliced or chopped onions. Bake at 400°for 1 hour. Deglaze the pan with half of the wine, scraping any browned bits  off the sides and bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Scrape off the spoon to return any remaining crusty bits into the pot. Mix well.

Reduce the temperature to 350° (you don't have to wait for the oven to cool down) and bake for another hour. Deglaze with the brandy or cognac, then move the Dutch oven to the stove top. Turn heat to medium, and cook uncovered until the liquid evaporates and another layer of fond forms on the bottom of the pan, about 10-15 minutes. Do not let the onions burn!

Deglaze the pan a third time, with the other half of the wine. Allow another layer of crust to form, and deglaze the pan one final time, by adding the thyme, and the equal parts chicken and beef stock (substitute veal stock, if you have it) until the onions are covered. Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for about 30 minutes longer.

Serve piping hot, with toasted crusty bread and gruyere cheese melted under the broiler.

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