Provençal Braised Beef Short Ribs

The rich beefy flavor of the ribs is supported by traditional Southern French ingredients.

Beef short ribs are a relatively inexpensive yet decadent treat. In this slow and languid preparation, the rich beefy flavor of the ribs is supported by traditional Southern French ingredients. The orange zest may seem like an unexpected addition, but its flavor truly brings out the best in this dish.

Serves | 8 |

  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 lbs beef short ribs, preferably bone-in
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • ½ cup pitted niçoise olives*
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups full-bodied dry red wine, such as Côtes du Rhône
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped

| Preparation | Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add as many ribs as will fit without crowding in the pan and sear until nicely browned, approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the seared ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan. Add the remaining oil, leeks, carrots, tomato paste and celery to the pan. Season with ½ tsp salt. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and sauté until the aromatics are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the olives, garlic, orange zest, herbes de Provence and thyme. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced by half.

Transfer the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated on the platter) to the pot. Pour the beef broth over the ribs and arrange the ribs as evenly as possible and no more than 2 layers deep. Add any combination of water, wine and broth so that the liquid reaches the highest layer of ribs without covering them. Bring the liquid to a simmer and then cover the pot and place it in the oven. Braise for 2½ to 3 hours, until ribs are tender. Remove from oven and let them rest in the sauce until ready to serve.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler. Remove the ribs from the sauce and pat them dry. Broil the ribs, turning once or twice, until glazed and sizzling, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to plates, spoon the sauce on top and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and rosemary.

* Kalamata or Gaeta olives may be substituted.

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