Short rib onion soup is a classic dish that can be found at just about any restaurant. It’s richly flavored with onions, carrots, celery and garlic. This hearty meal goes well with mashed potatoes or rice and makes an excellent potluck dish!
There are three parts to this: 1. Oven-braised short ribs, which cook the meat while generating the most delectable broth. 2. On the burner, caramelize onions for the soup’s foundation. 3. Toss the remaining soup bowls with cheese croutons. Because this dish is so rich, I prefer to serve it in 12-ounce (or 1.5-cup) portions. It has a stew-like consistency, but you may thin it down with extra broth if you want it to be more soup-like. If desired, broil the cheese toasts on top of the soup, similar to how onion soup is normally served. I used the recipe for short rib onion soup as a guide, but I ended up requiring additional short ribs and making my own onion soup.
Preheat the oven to 325°F for the short ribs. Season the ribs generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large (5 to 6-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Half of the short ribs should be brown on both sides; don’t scrimp on the color. Repeat with the second half of the ribs, then put them aside as well.
If there’s a lot of fat in the saucepan, drain it till you’re left with 2 tablespoons. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots, onion, and leek (if using) are gently browned around the edges, approximately 5 to 6 minutes over medium-high heat. Salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes, until the tomato paste has darkened somewhat. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the red wine has reduced to just a puddle. Return the short ribs to the pot, along with any liquids that have gathered. Pour broth over ribs and veggies after adding garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cover with a cover, move to the oven, and braise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the short ribs are coming off the bone and everyone in the house is falling over from the aroma.
Prepare the onions in the meantime: [You may use another big Dutch oven (fancy!) if you have one. You may also use a big soup or stock pot. Alternatively, you may cook the onions in a big, deep frying pan and finish the soup in the short ribs pot afterwards.]
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover the saucepan and add the onions, tossing to coat them in butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low and steep for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They don’t need your undivided attention.
Uncover the saucepan, turn the heat up to medium, and whisk in the salt — I use 2 to 3 tablespoons of kosher salt to begin. Cook onions for another 40 to 90 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes (you may be able to check in less often at first, until the water in the onions has evaporated). Caramelize onions till they’re a uniform, deep golden brown, delicious, and soft. Add the sherry and scrape off any onions stuck to the bottom of the pan, then simmer until it’s gone and you’re swatting guests out of your kitchen drawn by the perfume.
Finish the short ribs: When the short ribs are done, take them from the broth using a slotted spoon and place them on a dish to cool somewhat. Remove the veggies and strain the broth. If the broth seems to be fattier than you desire, you may remove it with a fat separator or by delicately spooning it off the top. Pull the flesh into big bite-sized bits, discarding the short rib bones. If there are easily-removable portions, you may also de-fat the ribs here.
If the caramelized onions aren’t already in the final soup pot, add them and reheat over medium-high heat. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste after adding the broth and bringing it to a boil. Add the short ribs to the stock and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To create the cheese toasts, follow these steps: Preheat the broiler in your oven (or turn it to its top temperature). To make cleaning easier, line a big baking sheet with foil. Toast the bread gently until it is semi-firm and dry to the touch. Each one should be rubbed with a raw garlic clove. Return the dish to the oven until the cheese has melted and the toasts are toasted on top, about 10 minutes.
To serve, ladle the ribs and broth into bowls and top with a cheese toast. Serve with chives on top.
Make ahead: I like to make this a day ahead of time since short ribs taste even better the second day, and any extra fat in the broth will be simpler to remove once refrigerated. You can prepare everything but the cheese toasts ahead of time, or just one or two components (the short rib braise, the caramelized onions). To serve, reheat over medium-high heat until it is simmering.
The “best short rib soup” is a hearty and delicious dish that is perfect for cold weather. The recipe can be found in the article.
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