Camp Cooking VIV MOON
A DELICIOUS, MANLY VERSION OF THE GOOD OLD FRENCH ONION SOUP.
2 tbs butter 1 tbs oil/butter 3 large brown onions – peeled, halved and thinly sliced 1 tsp brown sugar (less if you want – onions are naturally sweet) 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional; don’t use if you find the onions too sweet when cooked) 1 tbs plain flour (optional; use if you would like a slightly thicker soup) 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 cup dark beer (Guinness, etc) 1 bay leaf 3 cups beef stock (use good stock to get the best flavour) salt & pepper 300-500g good steak, cooked to your liking and thinly sliced 2 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
COOKING IT Preparation time: 15-20min Cooking time: 20-30min
• Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based saucepan or your camp oven.
• Stir in the onion and sugar.
• Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally over low/medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure you don’t burn the onions!
• Remove the lid, increase the heat slightly and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another five minutes or until the onions have softened and turned golden brown. Again, don’t burn them.
• Sprinkle the flour over the cooked onions, stir well to combine and cook for a few minutes.
• Add the garlic and stir through, then slowly add the beer and mix well to make a smooth soup. Add the bay leaf. • Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for five minutes.
• Add the stock and mix well, season to taste.
• Bring back to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for another 5-10 minutes.
• Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.
• Spoon the soup into a bowl, top with some sliced cooked steak and sprinkle with a little parsley. Serve with some garlic bread or fresh bread on the side.
LOOK for onions with dry, clean, paper-thin skin, and be sure they are firm and have no opening at the neck.
Onions, shallots and garlic will keep for months in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air circulation, away from excessive heat or light. Do not store in a high-moisture environment such as your fridge or under the kitchen sink.
Also, while it’s common practice, don’t store onions and potatoes together. Potatoes have a lot of moisture and give off a gas that causes onions to spoil more quickly.
If you have a mandoline, this is going to make slicing the onion so much easier. Watch your fingers and use the safety cap! Or to save an awful lot of time, use a 280g jar of Beerenberg Caramelised Onion – all the hard work is already done for you!
If you already have some leftover steak from a barbecue, slice that up and put it in the soup instead of cooking up some more.
WEBSITE OF THE MONTH
The National Onion Association of the USA has plenty of great onion recipes: www.onions-usa.org/recipes
For more great recipes: Check out Ron & Viv Moon’s website at www.guidebooks.com.au Follow their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/moonadvpub