Braised Short Ribs with Orange
I hadn't been planning on making this dish, but the supermarket sent me bone-in short ribs, rather than the boneless ones I had ordered to make Indonesian beef rendang, so I needed something to do with them. This recipe comes from a book on Iranian cuisine by acclaimed Australian-Lebanese chef Greg Malouf and his writing partner.
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"Although lamb is far and away the most readily available meat in Iran, beef is used occasionally." He mentions, before praising the suitableness of short ribs for slow cooked khoresh, or stews.
I followed the recipe pretty closely, except that I had to use regular oranges instead of the bitter Seville oranges, as those were not easily available here in California. I also used dried thyme and added some beef demi glace because the original recipe called for "good-quality rich beef stock" (I used Better than Bouillion, and I could have just used more of it, instead). While the recipe didn't call to make the braise the day before, I did simply because I started it late in the day - and braises are always better the day after. I didn't add the parsley until before serving.
I was pretty pleased with the results. The ribs were extremely tendered and the sauce was rich and tasty. Still, it wasn't as spectacular as I had hoped for. It was missing something, but I'm not sure what.
Braised Short Ribs with Orange
- 2 oranges
- 1/4 tsp powdered saffron
- 2 Tbsp boiling water
- 4-5 lbs short ribs
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 12 medium shallots, peeled (cut large shallots in 2)
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of thyme or 1 tsp dry thyme
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tsp beef demi-glace (optional)
- 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 250°F. Peel the oranges using a vegetable peeler. Place orange peel on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until dry. Set aside both peels and peeled oranges and increase oven temperature to 325°F.
Meanwhile, dissolve the saffron in the boiling water in a small bowl and set aside. Season short ribs with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil in a saute or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add short ribs and brown on all sides. If they don't fit, do it in batches. Transfer short ribs to a dutch oven or oven-safe lidded dish.
Add carrots and shallots to the frying pan. Fry until they become golden brown, 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to the pot with the short ribs.
Deglace the pan with the vinegar. Add 1/2 tsp black pepper, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and dried orange peel. Add the saffron water, beef stock and demi-glace, if using. Stir well and bring to a boil. Pour over the short ribs. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Turn off heat, and leave undisturbed for another 30 minutes.
Remove pot from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ribs and vegetables and set aside. Place pot with the stock on the stove and turn heat to high. Boil, stirring and skimming frequently, until reduced to your liking.
Meanwhile, juice the oranges. Transfer the juice to a small saucepan and simmer until it becomes a thick syrup. Stir syrup into the braising liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Return short ribs and vegetables to the braising liquid. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Adapted from Greg and Lucy Malouf's recipe at Cooked.; originally published in Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia