French Onion Mac & Cheese

 

French Onion Mac & Cheese

 

Two of my favourite ways to indulge in cheese have always been through the comforting dishes Mac & Cheese and French Onion Soup. My take on a Mac & Cheese incorporates real cream and lots of shredded cheese, with the savory ingredients found in a bowl of French Onion Soup.

  • Prep. Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time55 mins
  • Yields4 Servings

Preparation

4 tbsp butter, divided (plus more for buttering serving dishes)
1 1/2 red onions, sliced
4 tbsp dry red wine, or beef broth
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup Milk
1 1/2 cups 10% Cream
1/3 cup beef broth
3 slices white bread, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp Butter, melted
3 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups Canadian Cheddar, shredded (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
1 1/2 cups Canadian Gruyere, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
1 tsp salt
Generous pinch of white pepper
2 cups elbow macaroni

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Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter 4 individual oven-proof soup bowls and set aside.In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp butter at medium heat. When the butter begins to froth, add the red onion and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until very soft and caramelized (about 15 minutes). In the last five minutes of cooking, add the red wine and thyme and raise heat to medium. Remove from heat and set aside.In a medium pot set to medium heat, add the milk, cream, and beef broth and heat until warm. Remove from heat and set aside.In a small bowl, toss the diced white bread with the melted butter until evenly coated and set aside.

In a large pot add the remaining 3 tbsp butter and melt at medium heat. When the butter begins to froth, add the flour and whisk to incorporate for 1 minute. Add the warm cream mixture (this mixture should be warm not hot. You want it below the temperature of the flour and butter mixture) a bit at a time, while stirring and thickening. Once all of the cream mixture has been added, continue cooking for about 3 – 5 minutes while mixture thickens slightly. Stir occasionally.

Remove cream mixture from heat and stir in Cheddar (reserving 1/4 cup for topping), Gruyere (reserving 1/2 cup for topping), and caramelized onion mixture. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in the elbow macaroni, and evenly scoop into buttered soup bowls.

Top the filled soup bowls evenly with the diced, buttered bread and then the reserved cheeses and place on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until topping becomes golden

Serve immediately.