Onion Soup with Braised Beef Shank


  • 2 large beef shanks, cut "osso bucco" style
  • 6 large white Spanish onions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 small bunch rosemary
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 8 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 1 bunch chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices thick crust bread
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 sheet cheese cloth.


  1. Take the beef shanks and cut the meat off the bone removing any excess fat and silver skin. Cut the meat into approximately 4-inch cubes and season with salt. Set the bones aside.
  2. Pre heat the soup pot on high heat with the olive oil. When the oil is hot and just starting to smoke, add the beef shanks to the pot and sear the meat on all sides. When the meat is seared, remove the shank meat from the pot and set aside on a dry paper towel leaving the oil in the pot.
  3. Turn the heat of the pot down to a medium flame and melt the butter in with the oil, add the onions and the garlic and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. The onions and garlic need to caramelize slowly, this process will take approximately 20 minutes.
  4. When the onions are caramelized, deglaze them with the white wine and simmer until the wine is almost evaporated. Return the shank meat to the pot and add the chicken or beef broth. Turn the heat to high and bring the pot to a boil.
  5. As the soup comes up to temperature, unfold the cheese cloth so you can place the parsley, rosemary, bay leaves, ginger and black peppercorns and tie it tight enough to make a sache and hold the items without falling out. When the pot comes to a boil, add the sache and turn the heat to low and simmer the liquid slowly for approximately one hour.
  6. Take the marrowbones and using a teaspoon or a demitasse spoon, scoop out the marrow from the center of the bone and spread the marrow on the slices of bread, also sprinkling the Parmesan cheese over the marrow. Set aside the bread and toast them until a dark brown just before serving the soup.
  7. After an hour the soup should take on a thicker consistency and have a deep flavor of beef and onions. You may taste a slight hint of ginger, it works well to give the soup a little brightness.

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