"Onions slowly braise in brown butter, bay leaves and thyme to make an unctuous base for this grilled cheese sandwich. Redolent of French onion soup this sourdough toasty is so delicious. Mix the cheese with the onions before the sandwich is assembled. This technique guarantees a uniform melting of the cheese, and each mouthful has the perfect ratio of cheese and jammy onions." Sam Linsell
French onion grilled cheese sandwich recipe
Serves 2 - 3
3 White or brown onions, peeled, halved, and cut into thinnish slices
30 gms salted butter + more for spreading on the bread
2 bay leaves
3 tsp thyme leaves
3 – 4 Tbs medium of pale-dry sherry (optional)
¼ cup – 1/3 cup onion stock (or veg stock) to use if necessary and to deglaze the pan
90-100gms Dalewood Fromage Huguenot, Gruyere, very mature Cheddar or Gouda, grated
1 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar
4 slices of La Motte sourdough bread
4 sage leaves (optional)
To make the filling, slice the onions and then heat a large non-stick pan over a medium-low heat.
Add the butter and allow it to brown. This will give the onions a slightly nutty flavour.
Add the onions along with the bay leaves and fresh thyme and then season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low.
Once the onions have softened and started to take on some colour (this will take about 10-15 minutes), add the sherry if you are using it and put a lid on the pan. Continue to cook them for another 10 – 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. If necessary, add a splash of the onion stock to deglaze the pan and to prevent sticking.
Once the onions are nice and golden, remove the lid, add a splash more stock. Allow them to cook until very golden brown, and sticky. The process to caramelize onion takes at least half an hour, but this part can be made in advance.
Decant the onions to a bowl to cool and remove the bay leaves.
Once the onions have cooled slightly, add the grated cheese, and sherry (or red wine) vinegar and stir to combine.
Butter one side of each of the four slices of sourdough. Dived the onion and cheese mixture into 2 and spread it thickly onto two slices of sourdough. Ensure the buttered sides are on the outside.
If you are using them, press 2 sage leaves into one side of each sandwich (this is optional).
Fry the sandwiches in a large nonstick skillet over a medium to low heat until golden and toasted and the filling is warm and melty. They should take around 3 – 4 minutes per side and keep a close eye to prevent the bread from going too dark before the cheese has melted.
You can cook the sandwiches in a sandwich press or air fryer too.
Serve with delightful glasses of 2022 La Motte Vin de Joie Rosé.