French Onion Short Ribs are a profoundly flavorful, easy-to-make entrée that will wow your friends and family with the oven doing most of the work!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making French Onion Short Ribs is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- sweet onions
- olive oil
- fresh thyme
- bone-in short ribs (boneless will also work)
- salt and pepper
- beef broth or stock
- red wine (I used Pino Nior)
- bay leaves
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- 7-quart Dutch oven
- large skillet
- chef's knife or santoku knife
- cutting board
- measuring cups and spoons
- glass measuring cup
- kitchen timer
- large slotted spoon or spatula
How long will it take to make French onion beef short ribs:
To lightly caramelize the onions will take approximately 20 minutes.
To sear and braise the ribs in the Dutch oven will take approximately 3½ hours.
All total you're looking at about 4 hours, so please plan accordingly.
What is a Dutch oven and why is it important?
A Dutch oven is a heavy-duty pot with a lid used for browning meat and vegetables. It can be used on top of the stovetop or in the oven for roasting and braising.
Typically a Dutch oven is made from heavy cast iron which is best for maintaining a proper temperature and will last a lifetime if properly cared for.
An enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven will also add a lovely pop of color to your kitchen and make for easier cleanup with a lot less lifetime maintenance.
What brand of Dutch oven to choose:
That all depends on your budget, and what you're willing to spend.
Dutch ovens can get very expensive, but you can find some very good alternatives that won't cost an arm and leg and will still be a trusted workhorse in the kitchen.
I don't own the very pricey Le Cruset Dutch oven, but I'm happy and satisfied with the lesser-priced Dutch oven I do own.
I own a 7-quart Martha Stewart brand enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven that I received as a gift many, many years ago and it's always been dependable and very a good-looking addition to my kitchen cookware arsenal.
How to pick an affordable Ducth oven:
What size Dutch oven is best for this recipe?
A 6 or 7-quart Dutch oven is best suited when cooking for a family or doing large batch cooking as in this recipe for French onion short ribs.
What is braising?
Braising is a process of cooking foods (meats or vegetables) where you sear them first (to caramelize and build flavor) and then finish the cooking process in a liquid; in this case, it's beef broth and red wine.
Can dried thyme be used in place of fresh for this recipe?
Where I call for 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, I'd substitute ¾ teaspoon dried thyme in its place.
Of course, you can always add more if you decide to, but it's always best to add a small amount in the beginning as dried herbs are more pungent in flavor than their fresh counterparts.
The step-by-step photos for making braised short ribs with caramelized onions:
- Preheat the oven to 300-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large skillet to medium/high. Add olive oil to the skillet.
- Slice onions and add them to a large skillet.
- Cook the onions for 5 minutes, stirring only occasionally.
- Add butter to the skillet, and season the onions with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme sprigs.
- Continue cooking the onions, with minimal stirring, for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Use a slotted spatula to remove the onions to a bowl, and discard the thyme sprigs. Set the onions aside.
- Next, slice the short ribs into 3" - 4" pieces and sear them well on all sides in the same large skillet over medium/high heat.
- Transfer the seared short ribs to the Dutch oven (layering as needed). Add bay leaves and additional fresh thyme sprigs to the pot. Set aside.
- Reduce the heat under the large skillet to medium and add the beef broth (or stock), along with the red wine.
- Use a slotted spatula to gently scrape up the browned bits of onion and beef stuck to the bottom of the skillet, and season the braising liquid with additional salt and pepper.
- Carefully pour the braising liquid over the short ribs in the Dutch oven and top with the caramelized onions.
- Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven to braise for 3 hours.
- Remove the pot from the oven and use a large slotted spoon to remove the short ribs and onions from the pot. Also remove any stray bones (if any) along with the spent bay leaves, and thyme sprigs. Discard.
- Place the Dutch oven onto the stovetop and bring the braising liquid to a medium simmer until it reduces and thickens (about 5-7 minutes).
- To serve, spoon the thickened sauce over the French Onion Short Ribs and serve over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.
Additional recipes using caramelized onions:
*French Onion Pork Chops (shown below and featured in the video)
All the flavors you love in a traditional French onion soup are captured in this recipe for French Onion Pork Chops. Make them ASAP and I promise you won’t be sorry!
*French Onion Sloppy Joes (not shown)
When you want to frugally feed a crowd for game day, or a hungry family at dinner, it doesn’t get much tastier than French Onion Sloppy Joes!
*French Onion Crostini (shown below)
Everything you love about French onion soup is in these French Onion Crostini…except for the spoon.
*French Onion Mac and Cheese (not shown)
This French Onion Mac and Cheese recipe has got your name written ALL over it, and I’m happily handing it to you! You’re welcome! 🙂
*French Onion Short Ribs (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's beef short ribs with caramelized onions recipe.
If you've made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave it a star rating on the recipe card, along with a comment if you're so inclined. Thank you. 🙂
FRENCH ONION SHORT RIBS
To make the caramelized onions:
- 5 medium sweet onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
To prepare the beef short ribs:
- 6 pounds beef short ribs (I used bone-in) (boneless may be substituted), cut into 3" - 4" pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large bay leaves
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
To make the braising liquid:
- 1 quart beef broth or beef stock (I used low sodium)
- ¾ cup red wine (I used a Pino Nior)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit
How to caramelize the onions:
- Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the sliced onions. Cook, stirring only occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Add the butter to the onions along with salt, pepper, and thyme sprigs.
- Cook, stirring only occasionally for 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are lightly golden brown and caramelized. Remove the spent thyme sprigs.
- Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the onions to a bowl and set aside.
How to prepare the beef short ribs:
- Add the olive oil to the same skillet and season the prepared short ribs with the salt and pepper.
- Heat the skillet to medium/high and sear the short ribs on all sides until deeply brown (about 4-5 minutes per side).
- Transfer the seared short ribs to a 6-7 quart Dutch oven. Add the bay leaves and additional fresh thyme to the pot with the short ribs. Top the ribs with the caramelized onions. Set aside and make the braising liquid.
How to make the braising liquid:
- Reduce the heat in the same skillet to medium/low. Add the beef stock and red wine to the skillet, and use a slotted spatula to scrape up the browned bits of beef and onion from the bottom of the skillet.Season the braising liquid with the remaining salt and pepper (if desired).
- Carefully pour the braising liquid over the prepared short ribs in the Dutch oven and cover the pot.
- Cook, covered, for 3 hours.Remove the pot from the oven and use a slotted spoon to remove the short ribs and caramelized onions from the pot (keep warm), leaving the liquid behind.
- Place the braising liquid in the Dutch oven onto the stovetop and bring it to a medium simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce.
- To serve, add the ribs and onions to a platter and spoon the sauce over top.
- Serve plain, or over mashed potatoes, noodles, rice, or polenta.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this main course beef recipe for short ribs with caramelized onions as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!