Complimenting the European wine varietals at High Country Victoria’s Ros Ritchie wines cellar door, Essentials Megan Chalmers has put together a collection of French recipes to indulge in this winter. Stay tuned to Essentials for more classic French recipes and an exclusive Q&A with award-winning winemaker Ros Ritchie.
French Onion Soup
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
6 large sprigs of thyme
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp olive oil
8 large brown onions, peeled and evenly thinly sliced
1 tbsp of salt
2 tsp plain flour
4 litres beef stock
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
Extra salt and pepper for later season
1 baguette (for croutons)
2 cups grated French comté cheese
1. In a large heavy stock pot, over a medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil.
2. Add the sliced onions and one table spoon of salt, stir well and reduce the heat to low.
3. Continue to cook, stirring every 15 minutes for approximately one hour until the onions have wilted and released a lot of their liquid.
3. Turn the heat up slightly and continue to stir ensuring the onions are cooked evenly. Also scrape the bottom and the corners of the pot to eliminate scorching and to mix in deeply caramelised flavours. Now continue cooking the onions for a further 4 hours on a low-to-medium heat to caramelised all onions to a rich golden brown colour. No pot lid required.
4. Sift the flour, into the pot and stir well. Add the beef stock and flavourings, bring to a simmer and cook for approximately one hour.
5. Add the sherry vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Remove from heat and ladle into individual soup tureens, leaving half an inch space at the top of the tureen for the comté cheese crouton.
7. Top each soup tureen with a one inch tick slice of baguette a generous amount of comté cheese.
8. Warm under a grill un cheese is melted, golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.