Saturday, January 29, 2011

french onion soup with braised oxtail and mushroom tartlets

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 medium yellow onions (thinly sliced)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
8 cups beef stock (recipe below)
2 cups dry red wine
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 cups cubed baguette (toasted)
1 pound gruyere (shredded)
2 tsp. fresh thyme (minced)

braised oxtail and mushroom tartlets... (serve along side with the soup)
9-10 pieces of oxtail
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
canola oil
5 cups beef stock (recipe below)
12 ounces oyster mushrooms (cut into 1 1/2" pieces
2 tbsp. shallots (minced)
1 tsp. thyme (finely chopped)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 baguette (cut on the bias about 1/4" slices)
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white onion (thinly sliced)

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
generously season both sides of the oxtail with salt and pepper. pour some canola oil into a large ovenproof saute pan that will hold the oxtails in 1 layer, and heat over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. reduce the heat to medium, add about half of the oxtails, and cook, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the first side is browned, about 5-7 mins. flip and season the other side for about 5 mins. more, and transfer to a cooking rack. repeat with the remaining oxtails.

pour off the fat and return all of the oxtails to the pan. add enough beef stock to come halfway up the oxtails. bring to a simmer, and transfer to the oven, and cook until tender. about 2 1/2-3 hours. turn the oxtails over and let rest on the top of the stove for at least 30-60 mins.

remove the oxtails from the cooking liquid, and strain the liquid through a strainer and set aside. remove the meat from the bones, discarding any fat and tough connective tissue, and put the meat into a bowl. season with salt and pepper to taste. (the meat can be covered with the strained liquid and refrigerated overnight).

heat some canola oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. add half of the mushrooms and cook, without moving them, about 2 mins or until they are golden brown. stir and cook for another 2 mins. and transfer to a bowl. cook the remaining mushrooms in the same way. return all the mushrooms back into the pan, add in the shallots and thyme and cook for another 1-2 mins. until the shallots soften. add in the butter and cook until the liquid that the mushrooms release has cooked off and they are glazed with butter, about 2 mins. stir in the oxtails, then pour in the reserved cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and simmer until the liquid has reduced, about 8 mins.

preheat the broiler to HI.
brushed the sliced pieces of baguette generously with olive oil, and toast under the broiler. transfer to a plate. spoon the braised oxtail and mushrooms over the slices and scatter the onion slices on the top, and serve.

beef stock:
makes 8 cups

4 pounds oxtail
1 tbsp. honey
2 medium yellow onions (halved lengthwise)
2 bulbs garlic (halved)
2 carrots (roughly chopped)
2 celery stalks (roughly chopped)
8 cups water
1 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
10 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
2 sprigs of thyme

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

toss the bones with the honey at the beginning to help the browning process and add more flavor. spread the bones around in a large roasting pan. roast, turning every 15 mins., until golden and caramelized for about 1 hour. stir in the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and roast until the vegetables are caramelized; about 30 more mins.

transfer bones and vegetables to a large stockpot and add in the water. bring to a boil over medium high heat, and skim off any foam. stir in wine, tomato paste, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, and thyme. reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened; about 5 hours.

strain stock through a cheesecloth and sieve into a large bowl and discard the solids. let cool to room temperature. cover and place in the fridge until the fat congeals on the top, about 8 hours, remove and discard the fat.

lasts in the fridge for about 3 days or in the freezer for about 4 months.

french onion soup:
serves 8

in a large heavy pot heat the butter and oil over medium low heat. add onions, cover and cook until softened and translucent, about 20 mins. increase heat to medium high heat and add in the sugar and salt and saute until the onions are a deep rich brown; about 15 mins.

reduce heat to medium and sprinkle with the flour, stirring constantly, for 2-3 mins. whisk in 2 cups of the beef stock, then add in the remaining stock and wine. season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. simmer for about 30 mins. just to blend the flavors together. taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

preheat the oven to 425 degrees
divide the baguette cubes among 8 individual oven proof bowls. fill the bowls with the onion soup and sprinkle with a thick layer of gruyere cheese. set the bowls on a baking sheet, and bake until the cheese is browned, about 8 mins. remove from the oven and garnish with thyme.

enjoy :)


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