After I braised my beef shanks, I had a lot of the braising liquid left over. Yes, the dogs would have enjoyed it on top of their kibble, but I'm a little selfish sometimes, and I thought that I'd appreciate the depth of flavor more than they would.
In addition to the happy almost-sticky shank-braising liquid, I was also lucky enough to have some jus left from a recent beef dip expedition. (If you live in north San Diego County, you must try Agrusa's Super Sandwiches in Escondido.)
With all that beefy goodness in my fridge, I knew I had to make French onion soup.
Caramelize a couple pounds of sweet onions, add a few good glugs of red wine, simmer until almost all the liquid's gone. Pour in braising liquid and jus, toss in a bay leaf and some black pepper. Let simmer and reduce. Toast some good bread, grate some Gruyere. Ladle soup into ramekins, top with toast and cheese, and broil.
Now that's tasty.