Cynthia Pepper’s Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cumin and Pomegranate Sauce

 

I like to make the egg noodles while the short ribs are cooking so they are happy and ready to be served. Get the widest and eggiest noodles you can conjure up or buy—the yellower the better.

Monotype print by Cynthia Pepper

Monotype print by Cynthia Pepper

4 pounds beef short ribs, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
1 white or yellow onion (cut up any way you like)
3 cloves garlic, squished
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons cumin
1/3 cup flour
1 cup red wine (very dry)
3 cups pomegranate juice
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a large oven-safe pot with vegetable oil and heat it to medium high on the stovetop. Carefully brown the short ribs on each side, transfer to a plate, and then wipe out the oil from the pan.

Add 3 tablespoons oil to the pot and bring it back to medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the onion is translucent. Add cumin and flour, stirring with passionate strokes until all ingredients are well blended. Slowly stir in the wine and pomegranate juice, then lower the heat and let the ingredients take a warm, 3-minute nap. Return the ribs to this gorgeous mixture, stirring to coat. Then carry the sweet aromatic pot to the warm and patiently waiting oven where you will bake the ribs until they can be pierced and the meat is falling off the bone. This might take around 3 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a bowl and keep warm in the oven as you strain the liquid from the pot into a fat separator. Let it sit for 2–3 minutes, then remove as much fat as you can and return this mixture to the warm pot. Bring the liquid to a medium boil and cook until it reduces to a sauce-like consistency. Put the sauce through a sieve, add salt and pepper as desired.

Cook the noodles and place on a lovely large serving platter. Place the short ribs atop the noodles and then pour the reduced sauce over the ribs. Garnish with the ruby-like pomegranate seeds and serve with a smile!

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