Recipes

short rib onion soup

A couple months ago, I was out with friends and we stopped briefly back at a friend’s place (hi Jocelyn!). It smelled amazing and it turned out she had chicken chili going in the crockpot. Despite not planning to stay, we inhaled a bowl in her yard before heading back out again and I have not stopped thinking about it since, hospitality on a you-never-know level. Stews and hearty soups are already wired with this energy — they keep well, are easily reheated, and if nobody else eats it, you’re happy to have it for yourself. But if it’s already ready, it means you can have impromptu drop-ins, and they are unquestionably the best kind. The table isn’t set, the toys aren’t put away, you’re still in sloppy clothes, and everyone has more fun.


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And here’s a new pick for peak December cozy luxury. It merges two of my favorite cold-weather foods, braised short ribs and french onion soup. We had a Hanukah Happy Hour a few weeks ago and along with the usuals — an overflowing tray of latkes and everything good you can put on top of them, endive salad (this, but as boats for handheld suitability), lots of pickles, Manichewitz Sours, and doughnuts (I didn’t make them this time, but you still can) — thinking of that you-never-know chili, I thought it might be nice to have something hearty on the stove in case someone was hungrier.

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In the end, everyone stayed long, there wasn’t a scrap of latke or a drop of soup left, and it was one of my favorite drop-ins to date. So, if this soup sounds good to you, I hope you make it and have it at the ready for whatever the second half of December sends your way, be it a Christmas or New Years dinner, a more casual cocktails-and-cookies thing, or just to spoil yourself. I hope it’s wonderful.

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Previously

6 months ago: Perfect, Forever Cornbread and Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 year ago: Gingerbread Yule Log
2 years ago: Unfussy Sugar Cookies
3 year ago: Falafel
4 years ago: Dutch Apple Pie
5 years ago: Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts
6 years ago: Pull-Apart Rugelach and Tres Leches Cake + A Taco Party
7 years ago: Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix and Gingrebread Biscotti
8 years ago: Eggnog Florentines
9 years ago: Cashew Butter Balls
10 years ago: Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
11 years ago: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
12 years ago: Coffee Toffee
13 years ago: Zuni Cafe’s Roast Chicken + Bread Salad
14 years ago: Chicken and Dumplings
15 years ago: Pecan Squares

Short Rib Onion Soup

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

There are three components here: 1. Oven-braised short ribs, cooking the meat and creating the dreamiest broth. 2. Caramelized onions on the stove, building the soup’s base. 3. Cheese croutons to sink into the final soup bowls. Because this is rich, I like to serve it on the smaller side, in 12-ounce (or 1.5-cup) bowls. It’s definitely closer to a stew in consistency, but if you’d like it more soup-like, you can add more broth to thin it. You can also, if you wish, broil the cheese toasts on top of the soup, as onion soup is more traditionally served. I used this short rib onion soup as guidance here, but ended up needing more short ribs and using my own, preferred, onion soup method.

    Braise
  • 3 pounds (1.3 kg) bone-in beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 large yellow onions, or 1 large onion plus 1 large leek, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup (235 ml) red wine, any variety but ideally a dry one
  • 8 cups (1.9 liters) beef broth or stock
  • Soup
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pounds (1.15 to 1.25kg) yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) dry sherry
  • Toasts and assembly
  • 6 to 8 (one per bowl) thick slices sourdough or country bread
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely grated gruyere cheese
  • Chopped fresh chives, for serving

Braise the short ribs: Heat oven to 325°F. Generously season the ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large (5 to 6-quart) Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown half of short ribs on all sides; don’t skimp on the color. Set aside and repeat with the second half of ribs, then set them aside too.

If there’s a lot of fat in the pot, pour it off until you have 2 tablespoons left. Add carrot, onion, leek (if using) and cook on medium-high heat until lightly browned at edges, about 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes; it will get a little darker. Add the red wine and cook until it has reduced to just a puddle, about 3 minutes. Return the short ribs and any juices that have collected to the pot. Add garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf, then pour broth over ribs and vegetables. Cover with lid, transfer to the oven, and braise until the short ribs are falling off the bone and everyone in your home is falling over from how good it smells, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the onions: [If you have another large Dutch oven (fancy!) you can use it here. A large soup or stock pot will do, too. Or, you can use a large, deep frying pan for just the onions and finish the soup in the short rib’s pot later.]

Melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions, toss to coat them in butter and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes. They don’t need your attention.

Uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in salt — I start with 2 to 3 teaspoons of kosher salt. Cook onions, stirring every 5 minutes (you might be fine checking in less often in the beginning, until the point when the water in the onions has cooked off) for about 40 to 90 minutes longer. Onions are caramelized when they’re an even, deep golden brown, sweet and tender. Add sherry and scrape up any onions stuck to the pan, then simmer it until it disappears and you’re swatting strangers who crept in, enticed by the aroma, out of your kitchen.

Finish the short ribs: When the short ribs are cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the broth and transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables. If the broth looks fattier than you prefer, you can use a fat separator to remove it, or carefully spoon it off the surface. Discard the short rib bones and pull the meat into large bite-sized chunks. You can de-fat the ribs a bit here, too, if there are easily-removed pieces.

Place the caramelized onions in the final soup pot, if they’re not already there, and rewarm over medium-high. Add broth and bring it to a simmer and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Add short ribs to broth and gently simmer everything together for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the cheese toasts: Heat your oven’s broiler (or turn it to its top temperature). Coat a large baking sheet with foil, for easiest cleanup. Gently toast the bread until semi-firm and dry to the touch. Rub each with the raw garlic clove. Divide cheese between the toasts and return the tray to the oven until the cheese has melted and the toasts are browned on top.

To serve: Ladle ribs and broth into bowls and sink a cheese toast halfway in. Sprinkle with chives.

Do ahead: I love making this a day ahead of time; short ribs are fantastic the second day, even better, you could argue, plus any excess fat in the broth will be easier to remove once chilled. You can make everything but the cheese toasts early, or just a component or two (the short rib braise, the caramelized onions). Rewarm over medium-high heat until simmering to serve.

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182 comments on short rib onion soup

      1. Ree

        We just got an Instant Pot and would be eager to use! Wondering if anyone would know what settings would be ideal for this? If anyone has successfully tried would love to hear your process and results!

        1. Lizzie

          I also thought of my IP when I saw this. :) I feel like there are recipes for short ribs on the NY Times Cooking page-I feel as though that would be a helpful guide. I also like The Kitchn and Food52.

        2. EmilyS

          I use the InstantPot for this, and it turned out great! I used IP to make the braise—sauté function to brown the short ribs, veggies, etc., up through adding the meat back to the pot with the broth, garlic, etc. Then I cooked at high pressure for 45 minutes and let it release naturally for about 15 minutes before opening the steam valve (I don’t think the natural release was particularly important, though, if you’re in more of a hurry). I prepped the onions on the stove while the braise was cooking in the IP. Originally I thought I would add the onions to the IP after straining the broth, shedding the meat, etc., and use the sauté function again for a few minutes to finish, but my IP only has one heat setting on sauté, and it’s fairly high, so I did the opposite—strained the broth into the onions on the stovetop and added the cooked/shredded meat there, then simmered all together for a few final minutes.

          1. Sue

            That’s amazing! I did exactly the same thing! Right down to I thought I’d add it all back to IP! Enjoy! This is a brilliant recipe, thanks!

        3. Lisa

          I attempted it. Followed the recipe for the rib prep all in the instant pot. I set my timer at 45 min and the short ribs weren’t as tender as they probably should have been but were still good. I would say to leave them in longer. I also used boneless and they were pretty thick so that could also have been the issue.

  1. LD

    Oh hey! A new print button location! I’m excited to try this recipe. Your cozy cabbage and farro soup is a staple around here- bet this is similarly cozy!!

    1. Lauren

      Love that soup, have made it three times already, just for myself. I keep thinking I will freeze some, but I can’t stop eating it. Definitely a keeper Deb, thanks so much. My first attempt at farro too- love that also, and it has replaced barley as my all time go-to grain.

    1. deb

      If you’re in a place where you can find nonalcoholic wine, I’d use it in the braise. Otherwise, skip it. There’s enough flavor here that it’s just another layer.

      1. deb

        I think they’d cook faster and you’d theoretically need much less because the bone has a lot of the weight, but I also don’t think anyone would mind extra.

      2. StevEagle

        You can try using watered-down vinegars. I often don’t use alcohol and I’ve found that this works pretty well. I usually do 2 or 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. You still get the flavor of the wine (If the recipe Calls for red wine, I use red wine vinegar and so on) but none of the tartness of the vinegar! I’m sure the taste comes out a little differently but not in a bad way! (I’ve used this for many of Deb’s recipes- her chicken meatballs dish comes out divine!)

        1. StevEagle

          Oh, and if you plan on doing this regularly, invest in some nice vinegars! Not super-expensive, since you’ll be cooking most of it away, but something upper-mid-range, maybe.
          Cheap vinegars (like cheap cooking wines) will show up like an unwelcome guest in the final product!

    2. Steveagle

      I often don’t use wine or other alcohols when I cook; I find that using watered-down vinegar works pretty well! I usually do about 2 or 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar (if the recipe calls for red wine, I try to use red wine vinegar, and so on). You still get the flavor and acidity of the wine but not too much of the vinegary tartness

  2. Jean

    Yum! Sometime after Labor Day I start making a pot of soup every week. I try not to make the same soup twice. This is on my list for January.

  3. K

    omg this is so exciting, short ribs seem to be on sale all the time at Whole Foods and sometimes the fat is too overwhelming but the acidity in this soup stew seems to be a nice player

  4. Katherine

    Surprising my husband with this tonight!
    Question about the onions … you wrote, “I start with 2-3 tsp kosher salt.” Does that mean you add more while they’re cooking?

    1. deb

      Heh, it means my notes said 3 teaspoons but it sounded high to me (although I know I take very good notes) so I balked. Start with 2, add more as needed.

    2. Debbie K

      FWIW – I made this tonight, had added the salt before the comment was addressed and probably added around 2 1/2 teaspoons and that was WAY too much, very salty. I think 1/2 to 1 teaspoon would be about right. Aside from the saltiness it was delish!

    3. Amy

      You’re not doing anything wrong. Ribs are variable, some have tons of meat, others less so. After I cook ribs, I put the entire pot in the refrigerator overnight, then skim off the solid fat in the morning. This has been the easiest way I have found to deal with the fat. Plus, ribs taste better the second day anyway.

    4. Jenny

      I ended up only using around 1 tsp standard table salt. I also had to substitute for a splash of apple cider vinegar in place of Sherry. The soup was worth every step! Definite winner!

    1. Lynn

      I’m hoping for a positive answer to this question too! Beef is sooo expensive right now, I hate paying for bone weight. I recently made a pasta and beef ragu recipe that I DID sub in a small pot. roast for and it was great!

    2. deb

      I definitely think other meat cuts could be used. I’d follow whatever cooking time you’d use for them, although just about all beef stews require 2.5 to 3 hours for the meat to get very tender. The funny thing is when I started making short ribs for dinner parties in 2005-2007 (yes, I’m old), it was because it was so budget-friendly and impossible to make them taste bad.

      1. Frenchy

        Ha! Yes! All beef has gotten more expensive but former “budget” cuts of meat have gotten soooo expensive (looking at you flank steak, skirt steak, and ofc short ribs

  5. Esther Lasky

    Hi. We keep a kosher kitchen, and as such, we do not mix meat and dairy.
    1) as the onions are cooked in butter, which is contraindicated in my case, can you suggest a good substitute. I don’t like using margarine so much, so what quantity of olive or other oil, would you suggest?
    2) just a comment, not a question. We would not be preparing the cheesy croutons. This soup/stew sounds delicious as is without that.

    1. deb

      For the onions, just cook them in olive oil another oil. I’d use less. It doesn’t need that much butter to caramelize onions, the extra is there for flavor. You can make a great crouton with just olive oil, salt, garlic clove.

    2. Sarah

      Hi Deb! I’m curious about why you strain out the vegetables, and I’ve seen a few other recipes do this too. Is it because they are too soggy after the braise? Is there a way to add some carrot/celery or other veggies back in? I wonder if they would be good in the final product :)

      1. Alexis

        My question too – could i just pass them through a ricer or blend them so they become just part of the soup? Or would that take away from any element of the finished soup?

        1. deb

          You can use the vegetables if you wish. I was trying to keep with more of a classic french onion soup, which wouldn’t have them. But you’re making this for you and it should be the way you want it!

      2. Laura

        For other brothy recipes that call for ditching the stock veg, I usually use a blender and whizz them in. The pureed veg adds a little extra body to the sauce without making it heavy (like starchy thickeners might). The extra body in the broth could be welcome here for those who don’t mind their final product being a smidge less French-onion-soup-adjacent.

    3. Bentley

      I’m not versed in kosher but I used the beef fat skimmed from my last batch of beef stock to caramelize the onions for this recipe and it worked beautifully.

  6. Katie

    I love this so much. My grandmother grew up in Alaska (1920s-40s) and people would drop by constantly. Her mother (my great grandmother) always had a pot of chili on the stove, a carafe of coffee, and homemade crescent rolls at the ready. Something to fortify the visitor before going back out into the cold. A century later in Brooklyn, I make that same chili at least once a week in the winter. Although I swap the venison and suet for chuck.

  7. Barbara Duran

    It sounds wonderful. I love braised short ribs more than almost anything and if I’m ever convicted of a capital crime it will be my request for my final meal. Today when I shopped I checked the short rib beef section at my market. Three lbs. of on-the-bone ribs would have come to about $50, if you included our 10 percent tax on food. Looks like I indeed will have to wait for my final meal to enjoy this.

    1. LB

      I think she means that the original recipe she was inspired by does the onions differently. The recipe published here is how she does it.

  8. Jennifer Bloom

    I rarely comment but I talk about you all the time like you’re an old friend. Your emails always make me smile and have provided endless days of deliciousness in my kitchen. I recommend your website frequently with the warning that it’s not smitten kitten 😂. So old friend, who I’ve never met, wishing you and your family a warm holiday season with all the good things.

  9. Sarah

    Hi Deb! I’m curious about why you strain out the vegetables, and I’ve seen a few other recipes do this too. Is it because they are too soggy after the braise? Is there a way to add some carrot/celery or other veggies back in? I wonder if they would be good in the final product :)

    1. Laura

      For other brothy recipes that call for ditching the stock veg, I usually use a blender and whizz them in. The pureed veg adds a little extra body to the sauce without making it heavy (like starchy thickeners might). The extra body in the broth could be welcome here for those who don’t mind their final product being a smidge less French-onion-soup-adjacent.

  10. Carolin

    Made this for some friends who dropped in last night. It. Was. Divine. The house smelled impossibly good, and everyone raved about it as we sat and had a slow meal over a couple bottles of wine. I HIGHLY recommend this!

  11. Kelly

    We must be on the same wavelength, because a few days ago I made oxtail onion soup with cheesy toasts on the side, and it was an utter delight.

  12. Macy+Glynn

    I am making this right now and I am assuming that the bay leaf is to be added along with the vegetables. Can’t wait to try the finished product!

  13. Bentley

    My crew just got finished slurping this up after a cold morning of yard chores, it was a hit! I had to use 1″ cubed stew meat since I used our last short ribs from this years steer just before this recipe was posted – braised with the sauce from the brisket in the 1st sk book, delish, as per Deb’s usual – and I used the bone broth from the leftover rib bones here to excellent ends. I did leave the onions halved and the carrot whole in the braise so I could fish them out easier from those smaller pieces of meat. I also transferred the browned meat to my crockpot to braise and then caramelized the onions in my (only…not quite fancy here yet) Dutch oven with the fond mmm brown food. I did have to sub marsala for the sherry, no problems there. Doing this again with a pot roast v soon! I love cozy season.

  14. Amy

    I’m confused about the onions – there are onions in the braise and then onions to caramelize – can you please clarify how many for each? Can’t wait to make this!!

  15. Laura

    This looks delicious! Do you think it would be good (if different) if I used Marcella Hazan’s beef and chicken brodo instead of beef broth? I have just buckets of it in my freezer but no beef broth, and would love a new way to use it. Not sure if the chicken, pepper, tomato, and potato used to make the broth would be off.

  16. Liz

    This is my first experience with short ribs. I don’t know what I did wrong but the ribs were super fatty and after the braise, provided not enough meat after removing the bone and fat. What idi I do wrong? Otherwise delicious.

    1. Emily

      I had a similar experience with my ribs. I was surprised at the small quantity from 3.4 lbs. I had to set aside a fair amount because of the fat. I wonder if these were fatty ribs, and next time they’ll be leaner?

      The flavor was outstanding. Robust and layered.

      My Dutch oven is small, so I could only fit four cups of broth in with the ribs and veggies. Due to the smaller quantity of beef, this ended up being handy- it wasn’t lost in the broth. If I did it with all the broth, I think I’d up my onion quantity, too.

  17. Erin

    This was insanely good! My store only had one small package of short ribs (3 ribs) so we used those as well as 1.5 pounds of cubed beef chuck and it worked just fine. We still were able to get a lot of richness from the bones and the chuck made it extra beefy. Fabulous!

  18. Sarah

    Made this over the weekend just because, and it was OUTSTANDING! Don’t skimp on the cheese toast – it brings everything together. Can’t wait to slurp up the leftovers on these cold December days!

  19. Amy

    I made this last night as listed, no modifications and it was absolutely incredible. So much flavor and absolutely perfect on a cold December night.

  20. Where on earth do you get such great –MEAT looking short ribs? The BEST I can do (not even affordably) is Whole Foods 1) IF there’s enough of a selection to pick through 2) IF they’re on sale! Short ribs are now $10 a lb.–mostly fat & bone! Even when WF puts them on sale now, they’re $6-7 when they were $4 in the fall (I know because I have them stashed in the freezer)! SR to me are now more pricey than tenderloins because of the fat & bone w little meat! While I realize you want the bone for flavor would it be more cost effective to throw a few soup bones in (not that THEY’RE cheap these days) and use a chuck roast or even though $$ more, boneless shortribs?

    1. deb

      These were from Fresh Direct, a grocery delivery service in NYC, but in the past I’ve bought even more beautiful ones from a butcher in my neighborhood called Honest Chops. They break down the whole animal so you can really order things the way you want.

  21. Lisa H

    We made this over the length of a weekend. After a drive to the mountains in Colorado, we cut down Christmas trees with our sons family. Our small Grandson, who is 22 months old, decided he couldn’t walk with all of his snow gear on, so he needed to be carried. Our older Grandson, who is 3 1/2, was doing well until he got his finger pinched. At that point, he needed to be carried too. We cut down two trees, hauled them, and the kids back down the hill to the truck. We drove two hours home, and braised the short ribs. We put them in the oven at 7, I managed to stay up until 10 to take them out. I set the pot on the very chilly patio overnight.
    In the morning, we spooned off the fat, cut the meat from the bones, shredded it, and strained the broth.
    On Sunday, we started the onions in butter on the stove, then put them in a 225 degree oven, then went to our daughters house. We helped them and our other 22 month old Grandson with some chores, and Christmas decorations.
    When we got home, about four hours later, the house smelled wonderful! We put the onions back onto the stove, and cooked and stirred frequently while we set up our shaggy forest tree in the living room.
    We added the broth, and beef, and heated while we made Gruyère toast under the broiler. We didn’t have sherry, so added a few tablespoons of Madeira instead.
    The soup was luscious and silky. So rich! We had it with a Caesar salad. We froze the remainder of the soup with the intention of having it for dinner on New Years Eve. ❤️🌲

  22. Colleen

    Being the goddess of efficiency as you are Deb, is there a reason that you do not put the onions into the oven when the ribs are braising? I have become to lazy to attend to anything stovetop for 40-90 minutes, and it would be so sad to scorch them when they were nearly done. Would you drop the oven temperature? I have not made the Cooks Illustrated onion soup in ages, but I recall doing the onions in the oven for an extended time (2 hours maybe?). Thank you, and this looks fabulous!

    1. deb

      I have just never successfully made caramelized onions in the oven that are half as good as those on the stove. They really need the stirring over heat. You might be able to do the first part (with the lid on) but that’s about it.

  23. Thank you, Deb, for this recipe (it will anchor our Christmas feast) and for the delights, wonders, amusements, considerations, and distractions you’ve provided our family in 2021 and going back all these many years.
    Wishing you and your family a happy 2022 and so many better years ahead.

    Sending you a big hug around the neck.

  24. Kate

    Help! It took three grocery stores to find short ribs – I wound up with a “plate”, thinking I could just cut them apart, but now I see that they are much longer than those in the picture. Do I have the wrong thing?

    1. Kate

      Update: I cut them apart, followed the recipe as written and it was delicious. To get full mileage out of how pricey beef is right now, i stirred the braising veggies into some rice and topped w a fried egg for lunch the next day. I also used the bones, meat scraps, and veggie trimmings from step 1 to simmer down beef broth. And I have about a half cup of skimmed tallow but I’ve never cooked with it before.

      1. Emjay

        Thank you for mentioning the rice! I’m straining the veg out but absolutely did not want to toss something delicious, and I like the idea!

  25. Rachel

    Just made this. Yes, it’s fussy!
    I used an instapot for 60 minutes and chilled and scooped off the fat. I was out of gruyere and used mozza with some pecorino romano. Would have been great with a side of Deb’s winter salad.
    Fussy but WORTH IT. First short rib recipe I have made and loved.

  26. Shelly Gauvreau

    Hm, jury is still out on this one. The good points – my onions carmelized beautifully. It was tasty, although I think tomorrow it may be better. The bad – my short ribs would just not get tender. I get them from a local beef farm and I did have to take some of the fat away but the meat was just not that tender. I have had great success with your other short rib recipes so not sure what I did here.

  27. Hayley

    Got a Le Creuset for Christmas (my first Dutch oven–it’s the beautiful green [“artichoke”] color; I am SO excited) and this was my first recipe in it. SO delicious, and such a fun “project” recipe–but without any unnecessary steps. I used about 2/3 of the amount of short ribs because they are VERY expensive at my local grocer right now, but the soup still tasted meaty and substantial enough. Used red wine vinegar instead of sherry and a mix of sharp cheddar, parmesan, and manchego because I could not find gruyere. Both substitutions worked well. And the leftovers just keep getting tastier. A real winner!

  28. Katy

    This is great. I couldn’t follow the recipe because (a) no short ribs, only lean stewing steak (b) decided to use Instant Pot to cut down cooking time as made decision to make this at 9pm, (c) at least half of my onion surplus was shallots and I was desperate to get rid of them, (d) no wine only sherry. So I can’t say what the recipe is like if followed, but I can say that what I produced is very nice and would not have happened without this post. (Next time: would not use shallots if given a choice, and would use a fattier cut.)

    1. Katy

      Oh, and only had about a pound of stewing steak which was boneless (so more meat pound for pound than short ribs) but next time I think I would use at least 2lb of meat.

      1. Angeliki

        I made this yesterday, did a a few things differently and it was still unbelievably delicious!
        I only used 1 kilo of short ribs. Only used 1/4 of rose wine, because that’s what i had in the fridge. Made the braise in the pressure cooker, as time is of the essence in this household these days. And I didn’t remove the vegetables from the soup. My onions took one and a half hours to caramelize, and I used a kind of greek grappa (tsipouro) instead of sherry to deglaze the pan. My final dish was on the soupy side, and we absolutely loved it. I wonder if using a tablespoon or two of flour in the onions once they are caramelized would produce a thicker soup.
        Thank you very much!!!

  29. Lindsey

    Just made this and its so good! Did make some modifications…Because short ribs were so expensive (next time I will use 1/2 short ribs and 1/2 stew meat) and I did 12 cups of broth. Used a touch more red wine, sherry & thyme. After removing meat I blended all the veggies in the broth before adding shredded meat back in. The blended veggies helped keep the thickness since there was more liquid. But overall this helped stretch it a bit more. Can’t wait to make it again!

  30. Gwenyth Beaven

    Excellent recipe, outstanding results. I made this for our Christmas eve dinner, braised the short ribs the day before, then made the onions on the day of – definitely a labor of love and not something I will do often just because it takes so much attention for so long (90min), but it was all otherwise straightforward and easy to follow. The results were rich and savory, small portions definitely a good recommendation!

  31. Just finished this for Christmas Eve dinner – yum! We traditionally have French onion soup and a beef dish and this was a a great marriage of the two. Plus, it’s the best short ribs have turned out for me. Our house smells wonderful and cozy.

  32. nicole

    can I puree the veggies and add them back to the soup? or just leave them in?
    I know that’s not exactly the point but I think they would taste so good….

  33. Olivia

    Hello. My broth cooked down to just shy of 3 cups while braising even though I had the lid on the staub Dutch oven the entire time. How much broth should we end up with?

  34. Tammy

    Gorgeous soup! A huge hit for Christmas 2021 and I know I’ll be requested to make it again. I prepared the soup the day before which I recommend for two reasons. First, it allows the flavors to really come together and second, refrigerating overnight gives you an easily disposable hardened fat layer. I haven’t gone wrong yet with any of Deb’s recipes! Please create this on Pinterest so I can add to my “soup” board! Thanks for another amazing creation!

  35. Stacey

    Made this last night. WOW, was it delicious!

    Have a big french onion soup fan in the house who said, we can definitely have this again! :)

    Added extra carrots and left them in the broth, also put some potatoes to make it a little bit more hearty. Can’t wait for leftovers!

  36. Salena

    15 stars!!Made with bison short ribs (very little fat but otherwise similar to beef) and Better than Bouillon roasted low-salt beef base for the stock. Otherwise, basically followed the recipe. Just beyond! My husband wanted meat left on the bone so I shredded some and served it with a whole short rib on top. A brown bread; next time grated cheese also on top. Short ribs roasted a day ahead; onions a few hours before serving. Felt effortless broken up like that. Thank you Deb for coming up with something just so spectacular!

  37. StevEagle

    Oh wow! Made this for Xmas dinner (along w some roasted potatoes, Deb’s green bean casserole (!) and then an apple crisp for dessert.
    I did t feel bad making soup for Xmas dinner becaose this is a hearty one and you definitely spend an Xmas dinner amount of time preparing it! (Not a ton of active work, but it takes a long time! A mandoline REALLY comes in handy for slicing all this onions).
    I followed the recipe pretty exactly (except I substitute watered-down vinegars for the alcohols) though I took one tip out of an old Cook’s Illustrated I had around the house: they have you deglaze the onions at least three times with water before doing a final sherry deglaze (of course, being Cook’s, I’m sure their ideal number of deglazing is like 10 or 12!)
    Anyway, this soup was soooo delicious (it was a bit too rich for the little kids, but that just meant more for Mom and Dad!) and may become a holiday tradition.

  38. Wynne

    This soup was out of this world!!! I made it last night and will absolutely be making it again VERY soon! Thanks for an awesome recipe.

  39. Chrissy

    My boyfriend & I made this for our Christmas evening – SO, SO delicious, worth every second. He sous-vided half of the ribs (18 hours, I’ll have to ask the temp), (with some onion, salt & pepper), and the SV ribs were so tender. We gave them a quick sear & carried on. Definitely a special occasion dinner – it’s decadent. So good. I’m gonna be thinking about it for a long time.

  40. Sylvia

    Made this for the family last week. It was ridiculously delicious and super cozy for a chilly night! Husband said it was the best soup he ever had; two grown up kids fought for the leftovers. They are already requesting a do-over next month. Oh, and I only used 2 tsp of the salt for the onions, and it was plenty. Thanks!!!

  41. Jennifer S.

    Delicious! I made this over 2 days. First I made my beef broth and caramelized my onions, then browned and braised the ribs this morning. Late afternoon I simmered the degreased broth, meat, and onions together for another hour. Served with cheddar melted over crusty bread and called it dinner.

  42. Nicole

    This came out great. I used what I had instead of getting short ribs – this worked perfectly with a chuck roast in my case. After reading some of the comments, I guess I could have cubed it to save time at the end (I pulled the whole roast after it cooled a bit and plopped it into the soup); now I know for next time! One thing I forgot to do was add a bone I had in the freezer from a previous cook to make up for the missing rib bones, but it still came out amazing without it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  43. Nancy H

    This looks delicious, and it will be a New Year’s weekend project. Thanks for another fabulous year of approachable and delicious recipes, together with helpful and amusing commentary. Is there a link on the website to “Best Recipes of 2021”? I see it on Instagram, but I can’t find it on the website. Best wishes to you and your family for 2022, and I can’t wait for cookbook 3#.!

  44. Michelle

    I made this Christmas day while watching football games. It was wonderful and will be showing up on a regular rotation. Thanks for another fantastic recipe Deb.

  45. Kate

    This was so amazing. I wondered if it would be worth the time/effort but it is definitely going into regular rotation. I did it just as in the recipe and the short ribs took maybe a little longer. I wish it would have made more because I have almost no leftovers! 10/10 definitely make this one.

    1. Kate

      I will say, either my Dutch oven is smaller than I thought or I had more short ribs than needed, but when I put them in to braise, I just was able to fit one carton (4 cups) of beef broth in with them. The other 4 cups I added into the combined onion+meat pot and let it simmer an extra 20 minutes. Maybe I missed a step but it worked out just fine.

  46. D. Dean Hackett

    Oooowee! Your beef tips onion soup looks and sounds soooo good. Unfortunately, I’m confined to a wheelchair, on oxygen 24/7, and I suffer health problems that’ll cause my death in 2022; even a huge 6.2 X 9.5cm Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, but AAA surgery is repeatedly put off as too risky until/unless my lungs/breathing improves, which COPD and aspiration pneumonia complicates.

    Is there any way this struggling woefully limited Social Security gentleman can purchase prepared select food/meal packages of your meals; especially beef and beef soups/stews?

  47. Jeff Winett

    I had 3 3/4 pounds of Short Ribs in the freezer, that were slated for my first 72 hour sous vide cook. When I saw Deb’s recipe that married French Onion Soup Fondue with Short Ribs, I aborted my original plan immediately. Last night was the most ummmazing entree EVER. I told my husband that this is the dish that I want to be known for, by all of the tummies that I feed. To me it was pure health food :) I know it was rich, but gosh….all of the collagen from the bones! I made the broth a day in advance, and removed all of the fat that rose to the top, in a single “plate” sized piece from the overnighter in the fridge. The meat from the bones was chilled as well. I caramelized the onions next day, combined all, and simply reheated for the best dinner ever! Deb, you are GOLD for what you’ve shared. Healthy and happy New Years to you and your family….I met you in the Beverly Hills Williams Sonoma when your first cookbook was released.

  48. Maro

    Made this for New Years Eve and it is just stunning — worth the time! I would probably cut the meat to 1.5lbs next time and maybe cut down on onions a bit, too. I just found I wanted a bit more broth, maybe b/c it’s been so cold out!

    Served with mashed turnips, which paired really well with the braised meat and breaks up the richness between bites.

    I love how my house has smelled for 2 days!

  49. Sandy Lentz

    Made this during a cooking marathon for our annual New Years Eve dinner for a couple of our friends. Two comments; couldn’t find a reference to the addition of the bay leaf in the version I used. I see you corrected it, exactly where I added it!
    Second, it ended up ‘way too salty! Next time, and there WILL be a next time, I won’t add any salt to the onions as they cook.

  50. Sara B

    When it says to add broth after adding the caramelized onions, what is that referring to? Do you not add all 8 cups when you braise the short ribs?

  51. Leigh

    We only had boneless beef short ribs, but we otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it was DIVINE. Also followed some of the comments and for the stock I kept the onions quartered and kept the carrot chunks huge. Made straining a bit easier. Perfect for our New Years Eve meal. Those doing Keto in our house had bread-less cheese crisps on the side and were able to stick to their diet. Can’t wait to make it again.

  52. Mandy

    This was amazing. I accidentally used 12 cups instead of 8 cups of broth. I pulled 4 cups off when I strained out the vegetables, but we ended up pouring them back in because people wanted more broth. Will make again. Feels like a special meal for a cozy occasion. Made in a 9.5 quart Dutch oven and even without my 4 cup accident I think a 5-6 quart one would have been too small.

  53. Mary

    This soup was higher in cost (why are short ribs so expensive???) and effort than most things I make (definitely a weekend meal), but it was honestly in the top 5 best tasting recipes that I have ever made. The broth is out-of-this-world good. After buying the short ribs I found myself muttering “this had better be good for a $30 pack of meat” and after eating the soup I printed out the recipe so that I can make it again – it was so good I didn’t want to risk losing it.

    Thanks for an amazing recipe Deb!

  54. Diane

    Thank you, Deb. This was a winner and was the last “holiday meal” i cooked. It sore was soothing. Thank you for helping to keep me going.

  55. Amy DeLorenzo

    This recipe took all day but it was worth it. The flavors are amazing and I wouldn’t trust anyone but Deb to guide me through my first time making short ribs. Thank you for this stunner of a recipe! ❤️

  56. Kate

    Has anyone tried this with pork?? My partner can’t eat beef (gall bladder issues) and it seems mean to make and eat it in front of him!

      1. Kate

        Thanks! Will now give it a go! As ALL of your recipes, I know it will be delicious. Can’t wait to add the newest cookbook to your first two!

  57. Miranda

    This came out so well. It was the perfect way to deal with snowmicron here in DC yesterday. I definitely recommend cooling the braise liquid after cooking to get rid of the excess fat. It truly tasted better today which I would not have thought possible yesterday. I also would not skimp in the wine used.

  58. Andee Beck Althoff

    Excellent! Halved the recipe – it made 3 dinner portions. I made it in the morning, and was able to pull off fat after it had been in the fridge all day. I did need to add 1 more cup beef broth when it was time to heat up. Otherwise, no alterations. So, so wonderful.

  59. BECKY

    Made this last night and it turn out very thin and that was using only 4 cups of broth. I have not been able to find short ribs so had to sub in chuck roast that we cubed. Little one note in flavor and sweet from the onions. Cheese toast of course is good :). Potentially try again when short ribs are available, but was not wowed.

  60. Leila

    Is there a substitute for the one cup of wine the recipe calls for and would leaving it out greatly change the final outcome in your opinion?

  61. Krystal

    Made this soup last night. Came out great. I subbed beef shanks and oxtails because I had some in the freezer and those worked perfectly! If short ribs re expensive at your store, try a similar cut of meet here. Any hunters out there, venison shanks or neck roasts would work perfectly here.

  62. Kate

    A labor a love on a chilly NY day today. Like several have found, short ribs are $$$, did half ribs half stew meat. Seasoned my meat with the Umami seasoning from Aldi— run and find this stuff… It’ll change your life. Chunked my veggies for easy retrieval and ate the carrots straight from the strainer for lunch! I always do 50/50 beef/chicken bouillon respectively in place of stock whenever something calls for full beef and did the same here… the chicken just adds a hint of sweetness. Made garlic bread grilled gruyere & cheddar cheese sandwiches to accompany.

  63. Beth Andresini

    Absolutely unbelievable! What a way to end a snow day! Definitely worth the effort. Enjoying with a nice Pinot noir – yum!

  64. Dawn Paxton

    I made this yesterday and it’s incredible. You’re right when you said you needed more meat (than 3lbs.) I wish I would have read that comment before I purchased my ingredients. I would definitely go for 4lbs. The recipe does take some time – but is well worth the effort.

  65. Marnie

    Probably one of my most favorite things I’ve made off your website..and trust me, there are MANY! Followed the directions to a T and it’s off the chart delicious. This is the second time making this and let me tell you, it is well worth the time and effort! Perfect for an extremely cold day here in the Northeast.

    1. Jocelyn

      Always together! We just had a fabulous New Years Eve together in my Brooklyn backyard. Champagne & Oysters. 💃🏼💃🏻🍾🦪🦪

  66. Patrick

    I made this last weekend and it is very good (it is a rich heary dish). I also served it over egg noddles one night as leftovers, also good! One tip, i would start carmelizing the onions before starting the ribs. They take a long time and it consolidated my cooking time. Also, the ribs may take longer to cook, mine took about 3 1/2 hours.

    It is a cooking project, which I was looking for. It did not disappoint.

  67. Rebecca

    So I made a half batch exactly according to instructions, except that I subbed turkey broth (from thanksgiving carcass) and the fact that clearly my stove was on way too low because it took almost 2.5 hours to reduce my onions and they kind of dehydrated but at the end absorbed a ton of the beautiful broth when it all came together. I ended up doubling the broth because when I went to skim the fat the next day it was totally solid and there wasn’t much too it. We ended up with 4 absolutely beautiful serves which were perfect for our snow day. My husband totally raved. But I would note, after buying the short ribs and gruyere, not counting 8 cups of homemade turkey stock and homemade bread it averaged about $6 a bowl. I don’t mind a project, and the results were stunning, but this is not a really budget friendly soup (unless for some reason short ribs are just extremely expensive in Asheville).

  68. Sharon Pernicano

    I made this a few days ago & it did take a few hours but it was so worth it. It has a rich deep flavor that is delicious. I will definitely make this often. I made no changes but I did chill it overnight to skim off the fat. Thank you. Sharon Pernicano, Michigan

  69. JESS

    It isn’t often that my husband flat-out tells me that he loves something I cook, or brags to his friends about it, but this was such a HUGE hit with him that you’ve definitely earned yourself a new devotee (me, it’s me lol.) Thank you so much for this!!

    Pro tip for anyone who (like me) discovered that they did not have dry sherry after they had already started the process: you can use a dry white wine as a 1:1 substitution. (I imagine the sherry had better flavor, but this still slapped.)

  70. Elle

    This looks amazing! If I don’t have a Dutch oven or instapot, what’s the best way to do the ribs so that I don’t mess them up?

  71. Katherine

    I am not sure I will be able to make traditional French onion soup from now on. Do yourself a favor and make double the recipe. I wish I did! This was delicious – every bit of it!

  72. Anna

    This is obviously just me, but somehow when I read “short ribs” I tend to see “country-style ribs” so I made this with those for guests on Boxing Day. It worked great, and everybody was happy and well-fed, but now it’s occurred to me that your actual recipe, with BEEF short ribs, would be much more like french onion soup, so I plan to try the real thing soon. But anyway, for all you other clueless gentiles out there, it works fine with pork ribs, though I’m sure the beef version has a more robust and meaty broth.

  73. Kathryn

    Recipes like this need to come with a disclaimer to brown the short ribs in a well ventilated kitchen because I definitely set off the smoke detectors during that phase of this recipe. 😅 It was worth it, though, because this recipe is a winner. The only change I made was to spread minced garlic on the bread rather than just rubbing a clove on it. We really enjoyed the stronger garlic flavor.

  74. Sharon

    I made this soup about a week ago. It was excellent and easy to make but time consuming. You don’t have to stand over the stove but it is so worth it. The kitchen smelled so good. I will definitely make it again.

  75. Kari

    Made this tonight, holy crap was it delicious!

    I used a tablespoon of dried thyme instead of fresh (because fresh is hard to find in January in Colorado). I also did 1.5 pounds of bone-in, 1.5 pounds boneless beef short rib. The boneless had less fat, but the bones gave beautiful flavor.

    1. Anne

      Absolutely delicious. The caramelized onions melt into the broth. I would make a double batch next time, since it is a big project for what we found to be only four meal-sized portions.

  76. Katie K

    This is labor of love and worth every minute spent cooking; outstanding!
    I did make both the ribs and the onions the day before and so glad I did as I probably would have been in a panic had I cooked the day of. The ribs came from a local, organic farm, and were pretty fatty so it was good to be able to cool the broth overnight to get all the fat off the top. When I shreddeda the meat, there were a fair a number of fat pockets which I was able to pull out. There is no short cut to making the onions for the soup; it just takes a long time to carmelize them completely.
    It all came together in a lush, rich soup; the toasts were a crowning glory. It was in the low teens here in St. Louis last Friday, so this was absolutely perfect.

  77. Beth in Seattle

    Good lord, this is delicious. Definitely worth the work.

    I made it the night before and skimmed the fat before reheating. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get all the fat without removing some of the meat and onion. In the future, I will make it the morning before, chill the stock and skim before combining everything. Thanks again!

  78. Heather

    This is awesome, full stop. I made the ribs on the first day, then strained and chilled the broth and caramelized the onions on day 2. I simmered everything for an hour and a half and I think it diminished the booziness of the sherry. It was still fantastic but I think if you’re going to deviate from the recipe this way a final splash of sherry would be great to rebalance it. This is a really special, delicious meal.

  79. This recipe should come with a warning to brown the short ribs in a well-ventilated kitchen, because I definitely set off the smoke detectors at that step. But it was well worth it because this dish is a keeper. The only difference I made was that instead of rubbing a clove of garlic on the bread, I spread minced garlic on it. The stronger garlic flavor was a hit with us.

  80. melissa

    Followed the recipe faithfully with everything measured 2/3 of the original amounts (short ribs are insanely pricey where I live, so I got 2 lbs). Was surprised to end up with barely 3 servings at the end! And a very thick, sludgy stew that looks nothing like the recipe photos. As others have said, the flavor is divine. This is also a verryyyy fatty tasting and textured dish. Next time I’ll use more stock and less butter in the onions and be sure to chill the broth overnight to get every lick of fat off. With this batch I’m planning to add a bit more beef stock, reheat, and chill to skim off whatever fat I can. For me, more of the amazing flavor will come through.

  81. sarah

    This was one of the most delicious things I have ever made. Time consuming, but not too much hands on time and well worth it. I pretty much made it as is–just subbed red wine for half of the sherry because I ran out. I’d recommend making it the day beforehand as the braising liquid was extremely fatty and letting it cool allowed all the extra fat to be easily removed.

    The only thing I would do differently next time I make it (other than having enough sherry on hand and not forgetting about the chives I bought) is that I might braise the short ribs a little longer as mine were still a bit on the tough side when I removed the bones and shredded the meat [this didn’t end up being an issue because I made them the day beforehand and they softened up considerably while sitting in the broth].