Short Rib Onion Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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Serves: 4
  • 8 (2 to 3 pounds) bone-in, English-cut short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 packet powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 4 thickly sliced French bread rounds
  • 2 cups shredded gruyère cheese
  1. The day before: Add the short ribs, beef stock, and soy sauce along with the rosemary, parsley, and bay leaves to the ceramic vessel of a slow cooker set to low. Cook for 8 hours or overnight until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Discard the bones, bay leaves, and rosemary stems. Inspect the meat and remove any excess fat. Break the meat into bite-size pieces. Strain the stock. Refrigerate the meat and stock. Once chilled, remove any fat cap from the top of the stock. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the onions and sauté until wilted, but not browned. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the meat and beef stock to the pot and let come to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer.
  4. To hydrate the gelatin, add the powder to a small bowl filled with 1 cup of cold water and let it bloom. Then add to the hot liquid in the pot and continue to simmer on the stovetop until the onions are fully cooked, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
  6. In 4 individual, oven-proof ramekins, fill with soup. Place a French bread round on top of each and layer with shredded cheese. Place on a baking tray and bake until the soup is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Short ribs tend to be fatty (remember, fat equals flavor), so be sure to chill the stock and remove any remaining fat cap before adding the stock to the soup. Vidalia onions bring a surprising level of sweetness, so look for them or the Texas Sweet variety. The packet of unflavored gelatin is a neat trick I use when I don’t have a super-gelatinous bone broth; it gives the same mouth-feel without any added taste. Gruyère is classic in this dish for good reason: It has rich flavor and creamy texture when melted; look for a Swiss brand that has been aged for at least 6 months. This is not the dish for adding Cajun spice or hot sauce; you want the subtle sweetness and beefy flavors to shine. This soup can be made a couple of days before serving; it only gets better.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at