Thank you Mario Batali for re-introducing me to the orange and olive duet in cooking. I had long since forgotten about that little winning arrangement. But it is now a forefront in my cooking brain once more. I actually can’t wait to make this again, perhaps with country pork spareribs (the really meaty loin ones) or as Mario suggested lamb shanks (saw some beauties at the Fresh Market the other day – real pageant winners!). I will be honest; I like the idea of beef short ribs more than the reality of them. Don’t get me wrong; this was as tasty as could be! A ten on the scale of deliciousness, and was even better the next day. The fat melts into the sauce, the sauce gets nice and thick, and it’s perfect with mashed potatoes or served in a big bowl, chili style, with pieces of a wonderful crusty baguette to soak up the yummy sauce. It’s easy to make, would be good “man fuel” for a Sunday game day, and makes a nice change from chili or nachos!
6 beef short ribs
2 large onions cut into 8 pieces
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
2 oranges cut into 8 pieces
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup kalamata olives, drained and pitted
2 cups of white wine
2 cups beef broth
1 cup of homemade or good quality tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Brown ribs on all sides, working in batches, two, or three at a time. Set aside.
Add onions, garlic, and orange pieces to pot cover and cook over medium heat until garlic softens, to not let it burn. Add olives, wine, stock, tomato sauce, and rosemary; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Return ribs and any accumulated juices to pan. Nestle the ribs down into the sauce making sure they are completely submerged.
Return to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking in oven for 2 hours, stirring half way through cooking time. The meat should be falling if not completely off the bones. Before serving, remove bones, rosemary sprigs, and orange pieces. Can be made a day ahead and re-heated either slow and low on top of the stove or in the oven. Serve with mashed potatoes.
It’s All Delicious notes: Inspired and adapted from Mario Batali – Molto Italiano