Recipe courtesy of The Charles (Wethersfield)
For the Broth:
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
5 lbs. sweet Spanish onions, finely julienned
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brandy or Calvados (apple brandy)
2 cups sherry wine
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
3 quarts veal stock or beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Using a large heavy bottom pot, place over medium high heat and add the butter and oil. Add the onions to the pan, but do not stir initially. After about 5-7 minutes or until a small amount of color is seen developing, stir the onions well with a spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to stir occasionally to develop as much caramelization/color as possible without burning the bottom. Add the sugar and stir continuously. When a rich, deep brown color is achieved, add the brandy to deglaze the pan and reduce by about half.
Next, add the sherry wine, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Continue to cook until the sherry has reduced by half as well. Add the veal or beef broth and reduce by about a quarter. Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaves.
Strain the broth, separating the onions. Allow to cool, then refrigerate both items (the broth and the onions).
For the Pierogies
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sour cream
2 oz melted butter
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups shredded gruyere, fontina, or your favorite cheese
Cheese crisps, chopped herbs for garnish (optional)
In a stand mixer, put the flour and salt into the mixing bowl with a dough hook attachment. Add the egg, sour cream, butter and salt. Mix on medium low speed for about 4-5 minutes or until the dough begins to come together, forming a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the cooled onions with the shredded cheese.
Unwrap the dough and cut into approximately 1 oz. pieces. On a floured surface, roll out each piece to a circle-like shape (no need to be too precise here). Place a small amount of the onion/cheese mixture into each dough round and fold over into a half circle, crimping the edges with a fork or hands. Cut the edges to make a nice half-moon shape.
Bring the soup base up to a simmer and drop in desired number of pierogies into the broth. Cook for about 6 minutes and serve. Garnish with fresh herbs and/or cheese crisps if desired.