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Post  Fri, Feb 15 2019, 12:29 pm
Like most braised dishes, these tastes even better the next day. Notes are America's Test Kitchen - could be said to combine Ashkenazi and Sephardic flavor profits with RAS EL HANOUT and Sweet


Excerpt From: America's Test Kitchen. “How to Braise Everything.

Serves 4 - 6

Why This Recipe Works This dish takes its cue from a popular combination in Moroccan tagines: meltingly tender beef and sweet, tangy prunes. We found that using pomegranate juice as the braising liquid gave our sauce the perfect touch of tartness to balance the meatiness of the beef and the sweetness of the prunes. A good dose of ras el hanout, a warm, complex North African spice blend, added a pleasing, piquant aroma. After defatting the cooking liquid, we blended it with the vegetables and part of the prunes to create a velvety sauce that coated the ribs nicely. We added the remaining prunes to the sauce and garnished the dish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh-tasting cilantro. The flavor and spiciness of store-bought ras el hanout can vary greatly by brand, so we recommend making your own (recipe follows).

4 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
2 tablespoons ras el hanout
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup pitted prunes, halved
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat short ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Arrange ribs bone side down in single layer in large roasting pan and roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat. Return short ribs to oven and continue to roast until meat is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Transfer ribs to bowl and tent with aluminum foil; set aside. Stir pomegranate juice and water into pan, scraping up any browned bits; set aside.

2 Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ras el hanout and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3 Stir in pomegranate mixture from roasting pan and half of prunes and bring to simmer.
Nestle short ribs bone side up into pot. Return to simmer and cover; transfer pot to oven and cook until ribs are tender and fork slips easily in and out of meat, about 2½ hours.

4 Transfer short ribs to bowl, discarding any loose bones that have fallen away from meat, and tent with aluminum foil. Strain braising liquid through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator; transfer solids to blender. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then pour defatted liquid into blender with solids and process until smooth, about 1 minute.

5 Transfer sauce to now-empty pot and stir in vinegar and remaining prunes. Return short ribs and any accumulated juices to pot, bring to gentle simmer over medium heat, and cook, spooning sauce over ribs occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer short ribs to serving platter, spoon 1 cup sauce over top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.


makes about ½ cup
If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, you can substitute ½ teaspoon paprika and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.
16 cardamom pods
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons anise seeds
½ teaspoon allspice berries
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground dried Aleppo pepper
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

“1 Toast cardamom, coriander, cumin, anise, allspice, and peppercorns in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, shaking skillet occasionally to prevent scorching, about 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Remove seeds from cardamom pods.
2 Transfer toasted spices, cardamom seeds, ginger, nutmeg, Aleppo, and cinnamon to spice grinder and process to fine powder. (Ras el hanout can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year.)
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