What a lovely night we had in the orchard last Thursday. Two wagons full of guests and the Eckert’s staff had a blast during our annual Wine in the Orchard Event. The temperature was perfect, the sunset was glorious and the wine pairings were divine!!
My dad, our staff wine expert, and I look forward to the annual challenge of pairing apples with wine. It sounds like an unlikely partnership but we have certainly proven it is not only possible but down-right amazing. My favorite pairing of the evening was our starter course, Slow Cooker French Onion Soup with Apple Butter and Chaumette 2013 Reserve Chardonel. Wow, was this pairing well-received by our group of wine and food aficionados!
This soup requires a few special ingredients including beef bones (ordered from Eckert’s butcher) and Eckert’s apple butter. It also takes a little planning ahead. In fact, Lana actually made our soup a day ahead and we reheated it in the oven an hour before the class. That being said, you will be amazed by the complexity of flavors offered up by the savory beef bones and the sweet undertones of the apple butter. Lana really took it up a notch with the crusty bread and aged gruyere cheese.
We dolled up our soup by serving it in 4 oz. canning jars with a slice of cheese toast. It looked so darn cute! When paired with Chaumette’s Chardonel, this recipe sure was a home run for our crowd!
I hope you will give Slow Cooker French Onion Soup with Apple Butter a try for yourself and if you think this evening sounds like fun, stay tuned for Wine in the Orchard dates for September 2016 at eckerts.com!!
Eat and sip well this fall, Angie
- 2 pounds beef bones (see Eckert’s butchers)
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 5 large yellow onions (about 3 1/2 pounds), quartered and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 5 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Eckert’s no sugar added apple butter
- 3/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups beef broth
- Place beef bones on paper towel-lined plate. Microwave until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Set slow cooker to high. Add butter to slow cooker. Cover and cook until melted. Add onions, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, brown sugar, and thyme. Stir flour, apple butter, sherry, and soy sauce together in small bowl until smooth. Pour over onions and toss to coat. Tuck bones under onions around edge of slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat until onions are softened and deep golden brown, 10 to 12 hours.
- Remove bones from slow cooker. Heat chicken and beef broth in microwave until beginning to boil. Stir into slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with cheese toasts.
1 loaf Eckert’s Rustic Italian Bread, sliced 4 oz Gruyère, thinly sliced or shaved
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from broiler element) and heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bread slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake until bread is golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Heat broiler. Divide cheese evenly among croutons and broil until melted and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes.