You could make a basic baked potato, sure. Or, you could take all of the things that make French Onion Soup great – sweet, savory, brothy caramelized onions, nutty Gruyere cheese – and tuck it into a baked potato and make it SO much more than basic. I think I’ll go with the latter, thank you very much. While these stuffed baked potatoes are maybe a bit much for every day, they’re so well worth the small amount of effort they take. A fluffy potato turns out to be a natural companion to rich and hearty French onion flavor, making for one seriously yummy mashup.
While your potatoes bake, you can use the time to start caramelizing your onions. Good caramelization does take some patience and time since you want to use a low temp to avoid scorching your onions instead of coaxing those sugars out slowly. Once the onions are soft and golden, you deglaze the pan with a bit of sherry or wine…
… and you’re ready to hollow out your potatoes. To really make sure these are meal-sized, you slice off the top third of the potato and remove all the flesh to a bowl.
You mix half of the caramelized onion mixture into the potatoes…
… and then stuff it back into each potato skin.
The remaining onions get piled on top, along with plenty of nutty gruyere cheese before the potatoes get another turn in the oven where the top gets melty and golden brown.
You might be more accustomed to French onions being paired with a slice of bread that’s broiled right on top of the soup, but it turns out the humble baked potato does an excellent job at stretching out all that rich flavor. In this case, you get a heartier, much more filling French onion experience carried by the creamy bite of a fluffy baked potato.
French Onion Stuffed Potatoes
Serves 4; 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes cook time
- 4 large baked potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup sherry or dry white wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions and season with salt and pepper and thyme. Cook slowly until very soft and caramel colored, stirring occasionally.
- Deglaze pan with sherry or wine, then add stock and bring to a low boil. Let cook until liquid is nearly gone, 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the top third off of each potato and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Add half of the onion mixture to the potato flesh and stir to combine.
- Refill each potato shell and place on a baking sheet. Top with remaining onions and gruyere cheese.
- Bake until cheese has melted. For more color, broil on high for 1 minute. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.