Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lauren vs French Onion Soup: The Rematch

    Although I'm just starting out here at The Tea Party and I may still be feeling out which direction things may take, I have told myself that I will always keep it real.  Which is why I'm sharing with you my biggest kitchen failure to date. 

    About two months after Kevin and I were married, I was still in "playing house" mode and decided to make one of his favorite dishes: French Onion Soup.  To be honest, it has never been one of my favorite soups, but I was determined.  I found a recipe out of a cookbook that was given to us as a wedding gift and got to work.  Before I served it, I just remember thinking "French onion soup isn't supposed to be clear is it?"  Fail.

    Two years later I was ready to take on the challenge again.  I found a recipe in one of my favorite magazines Food Network Magazine.  Yes, I am aware that all of these recipes can be found for free online, but there is something about seeing the pictures in print that is just so much more appealing to me.  I saw a recipe for French Onion Soup with Short Ribs and I knew that I had found my redemption recipe.  Having already tried my hand at braising short ribs with this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, I knew that how much flavor they would add, and at the very least, my soup wouldn't turn out clear.  


    Braising is one of the most amazing forms of cooking meat.  Everything cooks down and melds and it's awesome.  Trust me when I say that the picture above is not a good representation of all of the deliciousness that you are in for.  The "after braising" shot is just kind of brown.  Here's the final product!


    The recipe can be found here on the Food Network website, and I will let you in on the modifications that I made:
First, it is imperative to remove as much fat from the short ribs as possible before adding them to the broth.  The fattiness is part of what gives them so much flavor, but a greasy soup really won't appeal to anyone.  

Secondly, I only had cooking sherry but not sherry vinegar.  At the vinegar step I added just a splash of white vinegar.  I didn't notice a huge difference so whether or not it matters is questionable.  I just really wasn't willing to ruin hours worth of work by adding something strange and irreversible right at the end.  

Lastly, there aren't many reviews on the website yet, but the ones that are there are mixed.  The so-so ones are really just about the amount of time it takes to make this.  I don't really understand how people can see how much time a meal takes, decide to make it anyway, and then complain when it takes the printed amount of time.  Yes, this meal is a lengthy process but it's mostly hands-off.  And most importantly, it makes your kitchen smell divine!  It's ideal for a dinner party or a casual night in.

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