I was *sure* I had posted my French Onion Soup recipe a zillion times but I can’t find it anywhere. I used to enjoy watching Jacques Pepin and Julia Child cook together on PBS. They often did two versions of the same recipe and it was fun to see where they differed and why. I liked the recipes so much that I bought a signed copy of the cookbook from the show. At any rate, when they did the show on French Onion Soup, Julia talked about cooking school in France and how they went to the meat market in the wee hours of the morn and drank a glass of red wine as breakfast. Her version of the recipe has red wine and that has become my favorite. As soon as I saw the beautiful meaty shank bones at the dairy last weekend I knew I wanted to make it this week.
French onion soup
Roast 2 meaty beef shank bones at 400F about an hour or until juices are no longer red. Transfer to the stovetop, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer with a tiny pinch of salt, cook for about 2 hours. Meanwhile, quarter and thinly slice 6 medium onions and transfer to a heavy-bottomed pan with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute onions over medium heat until softened and liquid begins to evaporate. As the liquid reduced, begin to reduce the heat to prevent burning. Add about a teaspoon of sugar and continue to cook until the onions begin to caramelize and turn a lovely golden brown. (This usually takes a few hours, I stir every 20 minutes at first decreasing gradually to about every 5 minutes towards then end of the cooking.) When the onions reach desired caramelization, add 3/4 cup red wine (I used a petite syrah this time) and allow to reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Now pour in your beef stock (bones removed, meat shredded and returned to the pan, if your waistline can stand it, mush the marrow into the stock as well) and bring your soup to a simmer. Season with salt and add a few tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves. Serve with French bread toasted with Emmenthaler or Gruyere cheese.