I think y’all know how picky my husband is and honestly, he ate this only because he couldn’t find anything else in the house at the time. It’s supposed to rain Wednesday so this would be a perfect thing to make but it takes a L-O-N-G time so it’s more of a My-Day-Off-From-Work thing to make. I love Food Network Magazine and look forward to it each month. This time, Geoffrey Zakarian made French Onion Soup with Braised Beef Short Ribs. Mr. Picky Eater just bought me some really cool soup bowls with lids and since I wanted to use those AND I had some short ribs, I decided to tackle it. I did not use the exact ingredients he did mostly because I didn’t have some of it and didn’t want to spend two days trying to find them – so here is my version:
Major ingredients – but not all of them!
2 lbs. Bone-in Short Ribs
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Canola oil (that’s important – Canola)
1 carrot cut-up
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1 Bunch of celery roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head garlic cleaned and roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Cup Whispering Meadow red wine (I like to use local stuff)
4 Cups beef stock (I used duck stock that made it very rich!)
1 Package French’s brown gravy mix
1 Stick unsalted butter
6 Spanish onions cleaned and thinly sliced
¾ Cup dark beer
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ French baguette, sliced and toasted
Sliced cheese – I used smoked Goudam for me and Bar-S sliced cheese food for Mr. Picky Eater because he won’t eat “real” cheese.
1. Dry ribs with paper towel, dust with flour, salt and pepper to taste.
2. Put canola oil in heavy Dutch oven and sear meat on all sides.
3. Take out the meat and set aside.
4. Add carrots, celery, and the one roughly chopped onion to pot with the wine (you can use stock), thyme, bay leaf, and garlic.
5. Bring to a simmer and then put ribs back in.
6. Add the beef stock and bring to simmer again.
7. Put lid on Dutch oven and place in a pre-heated 325F oven for two and a half hours – to three hours.
8. While the meat cooks, melt stick of butter in another heavy large pot then add all those onions.
9. Set the flame (or coil) to a lower setting and let the onions carmelize, which is going to take about two hours so keep it stirred up and put a little water in the bottom if they begin to stick but I didn’t have to do that.
10. When meat is done, remove from broth and let them sit.
11. Strain the broth from the big veggies.
12. Shred the meat and discard bones then toss with the prepared French’s Brown Gravy Mix.
13. When the onions are carmelized, put in 1 Cup of Dark Beer (or more broth) and let it cook down to about half.
14. Add all of the reserved, strained broth and cook for 30 minutes.
15. Remove from heat and stir in the Red Wine Vinegar.
16. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
17. Place soup bowl or ramekins on a foil-covered baking sheet.
18. Divide the onions among (probably 6) bowls and add about 1/3 Cup of meat.
19. Top with one or two toasted baguette slices.
20. Top that with cheese.
21. Place in oven and bake until bubbly and brown – about 10 minutes.
22. If you like, garnish with green onions.
Whew! That was an all afternoon affair but I am telling you that was so good! I ate 2 bowls. I gave some to Mother Kalamity and her neighbor and some to Top Girl. Mr. Picky Eater ate his bowlful and told me it had “too many onions” – Heh, heh – I told him it was braised beef stew!