- Mix together flour, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl. Dredge beef short ribs in seasoned flour mixture. Reserve 3 tablespoons leftover seasoned flour.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook beef ribs in hot oil until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove ribs and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and melt butter in the pot. Cook and stir sweet onions in butter until soft and slightly browned, about 15 minutes; reduce heat if onions begin to burn.
- Stir 3 tablespoons reserved seasoned flour into onions. Cook and stir for 10 minutes. Pour in beef broth and sherry; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until soup is slightly thickened. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Strip leaves from thyme sprigs and add leaves to soup. Return short ribs to the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Stir soup every hour or so.
- Preheat the oven broiler.
- Ladle soup into oven-safe soup crocks. Carefully place a short rib into each crock. Top each soup with 2 slices French bread and sprinkle about 1/4 cup Gruyère cheese over each crock.
- Place crocks under the preheated broiler until cheese is browned and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.
TipsYou can make the soup without short ribs or substitute beef cubes (like the ones you get for stew) for the short ribs if they are expensive or hard to find.You can make the soup in a slow cooker by browning the short ribs and making the onion broth as above, then chilling separately in the refrigerator overnight. Add the broth and short ribs to the slow cooker in the morning. Cook on Low for 8 hours, then ladle, top, and broil when you get home.
Editor’s Note:The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary.
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