the most indulgent french onion toast with a hearty onion mixture and melted gruyere cheese
yield: 6 large toasts
1. Heat a large heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drizzle enough olive oil into the pot just to coat the bottom. Add the butter and let melt.
2. Stir in the sliced onions and shallots. Season with a big pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Let the onions and shallots cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the onions and shallots continue to cook until tender and caramelized, about 1 hour.
3. Raise the heat to medium. Stir in the sherry wine and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the beef stock, fresh thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook the mixture until most of the liquid has reduced. The consistency should hold its shape, but still be slightly loose. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Remove the thyme and bay leaves.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the bread on a foil-lined sheet pan. Spread the softened butter generously onto each piece of bread. Toast the bread for 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and set the oven to high broil.
5. Evenly distribute the onion mixture onto each slice of toasted bread. Evenly distribute the gruyere cheese on top of the onions. Each piece of bread should be fully covered with cheese.
6. Place the pan into the oven and let the cheese melt and brown, about 2 minutes (watch it closely so it doesn’t burn).
7. Garnish the toast with the sage breadcrumbs and fried sage.
1. Add the bread and 6 of the sage leaves to a food processor. Pulse until the bread resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to come up about a ¼ of an inch in the pan. When the oil is hot, add the remaining 6 sage leaves. Fry for a minute or so until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sage to a plate lined with paper towels.
3. To the same oil, add the breadcrumbs. Continuously stir until the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the breadcrumbs to another plate lined with paper towels. Season with a pinch of salt.