Monday, September 16, 2013

French Onion soup, simple as pie, but then sometimes pie takes a lot of simple steps that add up to work!

I was fortunate enough to get more wonderful beef bones.  I made the first ones into stock and learned through the process the I would add a few steps next time.  Well Saturday and Sunday this weekend was next time.  I decided to step it up a little and make French Onion Soup and add some roasting. Here is how I did it.  It turned out delish, I ended up with 8 jars and all good canners know 8 means you get to eat one, yay.  No one in their right mind processes one jar for a hour and a half! Poppie loved the flavor and the toast and cheese floating on top, no so much all the onions, I did tell him the processed one would cook down the onions a lot and in the end I was right, but I get a head of myself. 

I chopped up onion, summer squash, zucchini, giant cucumbers (you know the ones a little to big to eat that someone missed in the previous picking), wilted lettuce from the frig, radish tops, frozen broccoli stocks from the freezer oh and frozen celery too, a beet and root it you got it.  Basically any veggie scraps, or veggies you have.  I placed them in chunks in my roaster pan.  Added some of the cut or chopped beef bone knuckles, it is best if the marrow is exposed.

Veggies and beef bones in the roaster, second batch so you can see some of the flavor from the last batch on the side walls.

Bones and veggie before they go into a 400 degrees oven for 30 minutes.
While the bones and veggies I chopped onions it takes 1 cup of onions to each 1 cup of broth to make the recipe.  I chopped 32 cups and roasted two roaster pans of bones and veggies.  Once roasted I put each batch of bones and veggies in my 22 quart pressure canner, to pressure cook for one hour on 10 pounds of pressure. 
Bones and veggies roasted.
First batch has set a little in the pan and you can see the fat has congealed on the veggies.
Close up of second batch of bone and veggies add to the pressure canner pot on top of the first batch.

You can see you how high in the pan the veggies and bones are.  I added 2 gallons of water just enough to cover the bones and veggies, pressure cooked on 10 lbs for 1 hour.
While the bones and veggies roasted and pressure cooked I sautéed the onion in butter, you can use olive oil if you prefer.

All 32 cups sliced and ready to go in the sautéing pan, I used cast iron.

Cooking away!

Nearly cooked, I put them in the roaster pan in the oven to stay warm as they all got cooked and the stock got cooked.
Straining the stock out of the veggies.

I squeeze it a little to make sure all the wonderful stock get out, I don't really care about the little bits, but if you do, you can stain it again through a cheese cloth after you skim the fat off.   I gave these left overs to my Great Pyrenees as a treat she loved it, Okay I know some of you don't give scraps to dog but I do. 

Stock with the fat floating on the top.  I used a turkey baster and a dipper to get it off so I just had the wonderful stock.  You can see the lighter layer on the stock in this photo. It was about 1 inch on the top of the stock. 
I put one glove of garlic in each jar and filled half full loosely with the sautéed onions, and then filled to one inch from the top of the jar with the stock.  If you look you can see a small ring of fat on the top, I let the jars cool a bit and skimmed it off before I processed at 15lbs for 1 and 1/2 hours.  I live at 3600 feet so I need the 15 but you might be able to process at 10 pounds in your area you might check the USDA recommendation to be sure.

Viola, I think they look wonderful.  The onions did cook down, so Poppie is happy and look at that color, which came from the roasting.  Lots of work but the taste is Priceless.......... tomorrow.

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