Steakhouse Onion Soup
Chef Rex Hale
McCormick & Schmick’s
At McCormick & Schmick’s in St. Louis, Chef Rex Hale gives classic French onion soup a Midwest twist by melting Alpine-style Wisconsin cheese on top. Let the soup sit refrigerated overnight for full flavor, then top it with the toasted bread and cheese and broil to melt at serving time.
¼ lb. butter
3 lb. yellow onions, sliced 1/8-inc. thick
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
12 cups rich beef stock
1 cup brandy
Salt, to taste
8 thick slices French baguette, toasted
12 oz. Alpine-style grand cru cheese, shredded
1. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions; toss well to coat. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until edges are browned on edges.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 to 20 minutes longer, stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent. Stir in pepper, thyme and bay leaf; cook 5 to 10 minutes longer.
3. In large saucepot, heat beef stock until simmering. Stir in onion mixture and brandy; simmer 1 hour. Season with salt; remove bay leaf and refrigerate overnight.
4. To serve, reheat soup. Preheat broiler. Fill eight soup crocks or ovenproof bowls with about 1 cup soup. Top with toasted French bread and sprinkle with cheese, covering bread completely. Place bowls under broiler and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Photo courtesy of Emmi Roth