Vegetarian French Onion Dip au Jus
I made this tonight, it turned out bomb. It's not strictly veg since it contains a small amount of worcestershire sauce, which could be omitted if desired. The star anise in the onions and the black vinegar in the jus really set it off.
4-5 yellow onions, 1/4" slices
2 tbsp. butter
2 whole star anise, rinsed
Crusty french bread cut in half lengthwise and hollowed out slightly
Gruyere cheese, grated
Mushroom jus, recipe follows.
Caramelize the onions
Caramelize the onions in the butter in a pan over medium heat with the star anise, stirring occasionally until evenly caramelized, adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper about halfway through the process. Once fully caramelized, remove star anise pieces and discard. If any fond is in the pan, use a couple ounces of water to deglaze it off the pan. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the caramelized onions for mushroom jus.
Assemble the sandwich
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place open bread in the oven with the cheese in it to melt and warm the bread. Heat the onions and mushrooms if necessary and spoon into the sandwich. Serve with hot jus in a mug for dipping, a kosher dill pickle spear, and chips or fries.
1/4 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb. shiitake mushroms, stemmed and caps sliced
4 cups water, plus more as needed
1/4 cup extra dry vermouth
1/4 cup caramelized onions, reserved from above
2 tbsp. minced shallot
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. Better than Bullion mushroom base
2 tsp. Chinese black vinegar, or balsamic
2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce (optional for strict vegetarian)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, or a few sprigs fresh with stems removed
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon, or substitute fresh if desired
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
Clarified butter or ghee
S&P, and heaping 1/4 tsp MSG if desired
In a medium dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the butter and saute the mushrooms and both shiitake stems and caps until browned and fond is forming. Add thyme, tarragon, shallot and cook 30 seconds before adding garlic and cooking another 30 seconds. Add soy, worcestershire, vinegar, black pepper, and vermouth and cook until reduced to a very thick syrup, about 1-2 minutes, making sure to scrape all brown bits from the pan as it boils.
Add mushroom base and water and stir to mix evenly. Lower heat and simmer about 15 minutes, then add in the reserved caramelized onions and cook another 10 minutes. Season with MSG if desired and check seasoning, then remove from heat. Strain out solid pieces and gently press out liquid from them back into the jus. Discard the shiitake stems and add the remaining solid bits to the caramelized onions for the sandwiches. Off the heat, whisk in the xanthan gum and set aside, keeping warm.