French Onion Soup with Braised Short Ribs


This delicious soup is an act of love. It is a perfect Sunday Supper meal paired with a yummy salad and some fresh, seasonal fruit! Today was a "snow day" here and it was a perfect day for making this. I cannot over emphasize how utterly rich and fantastic this soup's amazing!

For the short ribs and stock:

2 lbs. beef short ribs
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine (I used Merlot)
6 cups beef broth/stock
salt and pepper to taste

For the onion mixture

6 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup beef broth/stock
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (white vinegar will work as well)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste

8 slices hearty bread (like sourdough), toasted
8 -12 slices of provolone (depending on how much cheese you would like in your bowl of soup)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss the short ribs with the flour and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven or very large, oven-proof skillet 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 plate. 2. Add the chopped carrots and chopped onion to the pot and cook, stirring until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, the cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the beef broth/stock and short ribs and return to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise until the meat is falling off the bone, 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours. 3. 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. (add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits from the pot, if necessary.) 4. When the short ribs are done, remove from the broth, 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 short rib stock. Reserve the remaining broth. 5. Add the thyme leaves, vinegar, and the 1 cup beef broth/stock to the onions. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved short rib stock and simmer for about 5 minutes. 6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the shredded short ribs and soup into 4 oven proof bowls. Top with 2 slices of the toasted bread and then 2 or 3 slices of provolone on each bowl letting the cheese hang over the sides a bit. Transfer to the oven on a cookie sheet (for stability) and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Top with thyme leaves for garnish. Enjoy your labor of love!


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