As I was searching for new ways to use the various cuts of beef I purchased from Lone Star Farm earlier this year, I came across a recipe that was ideal for cool fall evenings. The recipe was for Provençal Short Ribs with Herbs and Olives – a perfect fit for my husband and I who spent a few months living in Provence, France. During the winter months in Provence, a cool wind called the “Mistral” blows from down from Russia, so needless to say they enjoy many soups and hearty dishes in the winter. So sit back and I’ll take you on my journey of cooking this deliciously tender meat. Short ribs are also one of the most economical meats too, at just $4.00 a pound at Lone Star Farm.
Provençal Short Ribs with Herbs and Olives
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 pounds short ribs (not cross-cut flanken)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium red onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Côtes du Rhône or Bordeaux
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup (3 1/2 ounces) pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 navel orange
(Adapted from the Epicurious Recipe)
Heat oven to 350°F with rack in lower third of the oven.
Braise the short ribs:
Stir together flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Pat ribs dry and lightly dredge in flour mixture, knocking off excess.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown ribs in 3 batches, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer as browned to a platter. Discard fat from pot.
Cook the vegetables
Cook onions, carrots, and celery in remaining 2 tablespoons oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add garlic and herbs and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened and fragrant, 2 minutes.
Add wine and boil until reduced by half, about 8 minutes, then stir in broth, tomatoes with juice, and vinegar and bring to a simmer.
Bake in Dutch oven
Note: I didn’t think I owned a Dutch oven, so I looked it up. Turns out a Dutch oven is any all-metal pan with a glass lid that can be transferred to the oven.
Return ribs to pot. Cover with the lid, then place in oven, and braise until ribs are fork-tender, 3 to 3 1/4 hours.
Transfer ribs with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Let cooking liquid stand briefly, then skim fat from top. Stir in olives. Adjust seasoning to taste, if necessary.
Return meat to pot. Grate zest from orange over top just before serving. Serve over a bed of pasta or spaghetti squash.
The outcome was a deliciously tender beef in a very tasty vegetable broth. It pairs well with other traditional French foods, including a crusty French baguette and a soft cheese like a fresh chevre.
The recipe could also be duplicated in a crock pot – just begin the process and instead of baking it for 3-4 hours in the oven, put it in a crock pot for 6-8 hours.