For Rosh Hashanah I had collaborated with 90+ Cellars (my favorite wine brand!) to bring you this recipe of Malbec-braised Short Ribs with Dried Figs and Apricots. This dish is rich with a tangy sweetness reminiscent of Syrian stuffed grape leaves, all thanks to the addition of tamarind and fruit. Their Old Vine Malbec takes the flavor (and COLOR!) of this Aleppian stew to another level. Choosing quality wine that is ruby-purple with hints of wood smoke, berries, and spice is my dutch oven’s best friend. When I don’t want to make Syrian stuffed grape leaves but still want the sweet and tangy tamarind flavors that are smothered all over them, this is my go-to. Let me tell you: it is DEC-A-dent. You can serve it with rice and lentils, a generous amount of salad, or even mashed potatoes.
Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Dried Figs and Apricots
- 3 lb bone-in short ribs
- kosher salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp oil for browning meat
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 head of garlic halved cross-wise
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 sweet onion quartered (optional)
- 12 dried Mission figs
- 10 dried california apricots
- 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo Pepper or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp tamarind concentrate or more to taste
- 3 cups red wine good quality
- water or beef broth enough to cover short ribs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over med-high heat and brown the short ribs in 2 batches, being sure to season them with a little salt on all sides. Set aside.
- Add your carrots, garlic, and onion (if using) and stir the tomato paste into a pool of oil left in the pot, being sure to caramelize it for about a minute before stirring ingredients together. Add all spices, herbs, 3 tbs of tamarind, and combine. After about 30 seconds, add your short ribs and it’s accumulated juices back into the pot, then pour your malbec wine over them. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes until wine reduces by half. Add in water or broth 1 cup at a time, until short ribs are covered over by ½ an inch.
- Stir in your dried figs and apricots. Cover dutch oven and place it in the oven for 2 hours. Taste the sauce at this time. If it’s not sweet-tangy enough for you, add another tbs of tamarind. Different brands of tamarind are sweeter/tarter than others, so you have to go by taste.
- Put it back in the oven until fork-tender, another 30 minutes to an hour. The meat should be sticky with all that sweet and tangy goodness.