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French Onion Soup

3 pounds beef shank meat
3 1/2 pounds beef and veal bones; cracked
2 carrots; scrubbed & quartered
2 peeled onions; halved
2 teaspoons salt
2 stalks celery

1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs parsley
2 cloves garlic; unpeeled
2 whole cloves

1 1/2 pounds peeled yellow onions; thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 quarts stock; boiling
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons cognac

14 slices French bread; cut 3/4-inch thick
olive oil
1 clove garlic; cut

Heat oven to 450 F. Arrange meat, bones, carrots and onions in a
roasting pan and place in middle of oven. Turn the ingredients
occasionally so they will brown evenly, in 30 to 40 minutes. Remove
from oven and drain fat from roasting pan. Transfer the browned
ingredients to a soup kettle. Add salt and celery stalks and bouquet
garni tied in a cheesecloth.

Add water to just cover and bring to a slow simmer - avoid boiling
- and skim any scum that rises to the top as it forms. partially
cover leaving a gap of about one inch. Maintain a very slow simmer
for 4 to 5 hours. As the liquid level falls below the level of the
ingredients top up with boiling water.

Strain the stock into a bowl, allow to cool, and refrigerate over
night. Next day remove any fat that has solidified on the surface
of the stock. If there is more stock than needed for the soup it
may be frozen.

Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in a heavy 4-quart
covered saucepan for 15 minutes. Uncover pan, raise heat to moderate
and stir in salt and sugar.

Cook for 30 to 40 minutes with stirring until the onions have turned
an even, deep, golden brown. Sprinkle in flour and stir for 3
minutes. Remove from heat and blend in stock, white wine, salt and
pepper Simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes, skimming
occasionally. Just before serving stir in cognac.

Place the bread in a single layer on a roasting pan and bake for
a bout 30 minutes in a 325 F oven. Halfway through baking, baste
each side with a little oil. After baking, rub each side with the
garlic.

Pour soup into cups over croutes and garnish with a generous
sprinkling of grated Swiss and/or Parmesan cheese; or sprinkle
cheese mixture over croutes, melt under broiler and float in the
soup bowl just before serving; or float croutes on bowls of soup,
sprinkle with cheese mixture and heat in 325 F oven until cheese
has melted. Brown under broiler before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

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