22 September 2012

Provencal-style Veal Shortribs


I usually like to test recipes twice before they make it onto this site, though only once if I think something was truly fantastic the first time. So, a bit unusually, I am posting this recipe despite the fact that it didn't come out as perfectly as I liked in our kitchen. You see, there is a nice very big grocery store in Algiers that's all the way out by the airport. Because it's so far away we only go out there about once a month, which means I can go a little crazy when we're there. Loaves of brioche! And my favorite flat bread! A whole salmon! A properly cleaned chicken! Veal shortribs! Frozen brussel sprouts! No kidding I bought all of these items and more last time I was there.

So, excited about my veal shortribs, I was searching around for something to make with them. (After grilling the whole salmon of course.) The recipe I came up with was sort of an amalgam of several different recipes for provencal-style shortribs, since provencal ingredients are easily found here. I also liked that the recipe called specifically for veal shortribs, not just generic beef.

First of all, this dish smeels amazing when you cook it, I'd almost say that's reason enough to make it. The aromatics of orange peels, wine, and herbes de provence simmer for hours, filling the house with a delicious smell. Overall, the meat, tomatoes, olives, and herbs make for a wonderful dish. My only qualm about this was that our shortribs themselves, despite stewing for over 3 hours, just were not as melting tender as I wanted them to be. However, I am almost positive that any failings in our meat were due to the meat itself, as buying halal veal shortribs in Algeria is a bit of a stretch to begin with. So I urge you to try this recipe on your own, serve it over egg noodles, and hope your meat is as meltingly tender as can be.


Provencal-style Veal Shortribs
The olives don't have to be pitted, it's a rustic dish so just put a plate on the table for the pits. If you want to go all out you can try using fresh herbs (marjoram, rosemary, thyme, lavendar) in place of the dried.

3 pounds veal (or beef) short ribs
1 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1 cup white wine
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, chopped  1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 long strips of orange peel
1 tablespoon dried herbes de provence
3 flat anchovy filets, chopped up
1 bay leaf
1 handful oil cured olives (we used green, but black are preferred)
3 cups chopped tomatoes
ground white pepper, to taste
  1. In your casserole over medium high heat add the olive oil to coat the bottom.Brown the veal ribs on all sides, then remove to a plate.
  2. Add the anchovies and give a quick stir. Add the white wine and let it deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes, the bay leaf, the olives, orange peel and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add the veal back in and the stock, stirring to mix. Cover and bring to a simmer. A simmer is not a slow boil; it’s really just some bubbles that find their way to the surface. With the cover slightly ajar cook in this way for about three hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and serve over noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, etc.

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