French Onion Soup With Braised Short Ribs

Total Time:
4 hr 30 min
1 hr 5 min
3 hr 25 min

6 servings

  • 2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 12 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 12 slices high-quality gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • Chopped fresh chives, for topping
  • Braise the short ribs: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Toss the short ribs with the flour and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the short ribs and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  • Add the carrot, chopped onion and leek to the pot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the short ribs to the pot and stir in the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, garlic and tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, then cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and return to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven and braise until the short ribs are falling off the bone, 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours.

  • Meanwhile, caramelize the onions: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, reduce the heat to low and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 2 hours, 30 minutes. (Add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits from the pot, if necessary.)

  • When the short ribs are done, remove from the broth with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Shred the meat, discarding the bones, and toss with 1 cup of the broth. Reserve the remaining broth.

  • Add the thyme leaves and sherry to the caramelized onions. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes; add the reserved broth and cook 30 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Skim the fat from the top of the soup. Stir in the vinegar.

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Divide the soup among 6 ovenproof bowls; spoon about 1/3 cup shredded meat into the center of each, then top each with 2 slices toast, trimming the bread if necessary. Top each with 2 slices cheese, letting the cheese hang over the side of the bowl. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Top with chives.

  • Photograph by Christina Holmes

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Fall Entertaining Guide