I made beef stock using my trusty How to Cook Everything book and Nature’s Harmony Farm beef bones. I’m getting pretty good at stock making and it’s not nearly as scary or time consuming as I feared. Of course now I have a freezer full of little containers of stock. Good thing I invested in a deep freeze.
Again referencing the onion soup recipe in How to Cook Everything, I sliced up some local Georgia Vidalia onions with my mandolin (the slicer, not the instrument). Into the pot with some butter they went for a nice long rest. Maybe it was a watched pot never boils syndrome, but those onions took FOREVER to carmelize. I kept looking at it and wondering if they were real onions.
Finally when I had gotten some color I added my freshly made beef stock, herbs and some cognac (uh-huh!). When that had heated through it was time for the oven. I took a piece of my homemade bread, toasted it and stuck it in a small soup crock. The soup went over it, then I topped it off with this farmhouse cheese that I got in my CSA box that tastes kind of like gruyere (you know, since this was not French or Swiss onion soup – this is GEORGIA onion soup.)
After about ten minutes in the oven, my soup was ready. Once it cooled off a bit and I got a taste, it was so worth it. Sweet and salty, rich and cheesy, made from mostly local ingredients…man. You just can’t buy that in a restaurant.