This is, hands down, my favorite short rib recipe! The rich flavors of pomegranate, fig and garlic are highlighted in every satisfying bite! And don’t even get me started about how amazing these ribs taste the next day…
I came up with this recipe to serve to my Armenian in-laws for Sunday lunch. My mother-in-law, Suzy, doesn’t eat meat very often, and when she does its only meat that’s tender.
With her palate in mind, I brought together all of the flavors that she enjoys and that she uses in her cooking. Garlic, paprika and cumin are in nearly everything she cooks. Pomegranate wine, produced in her homeland, is served at special occasions. Figs are part of her diet year-round – fresh in the late summer and fall, and candied or dried through the winter and spring.
All of these special flavors are absorbed into the ribs while braising, until the meat is so tender and full that it falls of the bone.
*Note: If you prefer to use dried figs, rather than fig jam, this also works. Use 1 cup of diced, dried figs. Also apricot is another Armenian flavor that would work well in this recipe, in place of the figs. Try it with ¼ cup apricot jam, or 1 cup of diced, dried apricots.
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pounds bone-in short rib, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
¼ cup fig jam
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cups pomegranate wine
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup coconut aminos
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh mint, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
Place the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion, carrot and ½ teaspoon sea salt for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the fig jam, garlic, paprika and cumin. Cook for another minute until fragrant.
Deglaze the pot with ½ cup of wine and cook for 5 minutes until nearly evaporated.
Transfer the ribs back to the pot. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, coconut aminos and remaining wine. If necessary, add additional wine or broth so that the ribs are fully submerged. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven.
Braise the ribs until fork-tender, about 3 hours. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the sauce spooned over and sprinkle with parsley and mint. Enjoy!