Back when I first told you about #cheesebabygirl, I mentioned my new-found love affair with milk. When random people at the grocery store (yah, that's a thing) ask me what unusual cravings I've had throughout my pregnancy, the only answer is milk. 7.5 months in and my love for milk is still just as fierce as day 1. Like 2am rendezvous every single night fierce. So I've teamed up with Got Milk? to bring you a recipe pairing that's basically just my personal love-letter to milk.
Dear Milk, you and this braised short rib tagine are meant for one another.
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone (wait, where did summer go?), it's time to turn our attention on all those warm wintry main courses to serve over the holidays. And this braise short rib tagine is just that. It's seared and slow-stewed in deep Moroccan spices until the meat falls apart off the bones, then served with all the warm seasoned tagine vegetables spooned over top on a bed of quinoa.
The stew comes together with hearty chickpeas, sweet roasted dried figs, crunchy salted marcona almonds, and tangy green olives. With a little cayenne kick on the end, a chilled glass of milk (or two) adds just the right finish. The creamy milk calms the spice and rounds out the rough edges of the piquant stew. (Trust the pregnant lady on this one).
Speaking of the holidays (holidays = all of December), have you set up a tree and pulled out your 100+ collection of Santa figurines? Is your elf on the shelf yet? If not, then you're WAY behind my mom in showing off your holiday spirit.
She may be turning 60(!) in January, but when it comes to Christmas, she's a kid a heart - with her very own Elfie.
You see, while my mom would listen to Christmas tunes all year, my dad's a bit of a holiday grinch. So a couple of years ago, I sent them an Elf on the Shelf, with the rule that throughout December, my dad was in charge of hiding him. He begrudgingly agreed, but I think he's secretly been having a bit of fun finding (sometimes risqué) places for Elfie.
On December 1 this year, I texted my dad to remind him to hide Elfie. The next evening, he casually started the following conversation with my mom:
- Dad: "Did you find Elfie yet?"
- Mom: "Well, no...because he's still in the box."
- Dad: "Are you sure?"
- Mom: (Shows him the box with Elfie snug inside)
- Dad: "Do we have another one?"
- Mom: "No...but I guess I better figure out what you hid."
This is what she found - straddling the shower spout. Mr. Wonderful: a talking man doll my mom got him as a stocking stuffer years ago that, when squeezed, says things like "I may have bought you too many presents this year, but you deserve so much." To my grinch dad, he apparently bears a striking resemblance to a little boy holiday elf.
My dad is awesome at Christmas.
You can be awesome at Christmas too if you make this braised short rib tagine (except for real, for real). You see the size of these servings? Lucas blinked and scraped his plate clean, declaring the stew good enough to stand on its own even without the tender braised short ribs. But definitely with a cool glass of milk.
Braised Short Rib Tagine with Figs & Almonds
Braised Short Rib Tagine
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (About 3 medium cloves)
- 2 beef short ribs (about 1¼ lbs)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 cup drained canned chickpeas
- ½ cup dried figs (about 14-16 figs), de-stemmed and sliced into thirds
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup marcona almonds
- ¼ cup seedless green olives, sliced in half
- About 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley leaves, for serving
- 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Braised Short Rib Tagine
- Combine spices (first 9 ingredients) in a small bowl.
- Pat short ribs dry and generously coat all sides of ribs with spice mixture, reserving excess spices. Place ribs on a plate and marinate, uncovered for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Put oven rack in lower third of oven (so it will fit a giant pot) and preheat oven to 325°F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large clay pot or a heavy-bottomed pot (like a dutch oven) over high heat until hot but not smoking and quickly brown ribs on all 3 meaty sides (but not bone side), about a minute per side. Transfer meat back to the plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the fresh ginger and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes with their juices, chickpeas, figs, tomato paste, and reserved spices. Nestle ribs into the center of the pot with any drippings accumulated on plate and bring liquid to a boil, uncovered.
- Spoon some sauce over ribs and stir in almonds. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender, 2 - 2.5 hours.
- Skim off excess fat from surface of sauce and discard.
- Serve over cooked quinoa topped with olives, parsley.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and salt and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Karen @ The Food Charlatan -
OH MY GOSH!!! I think Mr. Wonderful needs to make an appearance at our house this year. Haha! I can't believe your dad hides Elfie for your mom. That is probably the cutest thing I have ever heard.
PS I cannot BELIEVE your mom's santa collection!!! That is amazing!!
Oh man, these look sooooo good! I've never made short ribs but, like you said, with the cold winter months upon us I've been wanting to try them. Your dad sounds like my kind of guy :D
This looks delicious! I just love Tom and Sheri! Our little grand baby Girl will too!
Carla (@charliesue) -
Look, I'm with your dad. CLOSE ENOUGH. ;)
(And how cute is your MOMMA with her SANTAS? <3)
Every time I think of this Elfie story it makes me laugh!! Well, since then your dad has hidden Elfie so well I haven't been able to find him...I thought perhaps he hid him amongst my Santa's, but nope! And he's giving me NO hints! As far as these short ribs, they look delicious!
Amanda Paa -
love this story! your dad sounds like a keeper of a grinch ;). the wonderful talking man is hilarious.
also, so fun to hear about what different people crave during their pregnancy. more milk is never a bad thing! but also, these short ribs - so yum. a perfect winter meal. and the flavors going on! xo
That tagine! That beef looks so tender and the dish sounds so hearty and perfect for cold days :) Also, I have to say that Mr. Wonderful looks like Elf on the Shelf after he's grown up and gone corporate at Santa's toy factory...
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary -
This tagine looks beyond fantastic! I am totally drooling all over my keyboard at your photos and all the stellar flavors going on in here! I need this for dinner daily! Pinned! Love that story about the elf and your dad! Your dad sounds awesome! Cheers, girlfriend - to a fabulous day and an elf on a shelf somewhere.
Jess @ Sweetest Menu -
Man oh man, this meal looks like it stepped straight out of a restaurant! Just gorgeous Sarah!!!
Can this be made with chicken thighs? A response would be very much appreciated ;)
Sarah Menanix -
Though I've never tried it - I don't see why not! I would just reduce the cooking time until the liquid is cooked off - probably no more than an hour would be needed to cook chicken all the way through, but maybe less. If you have a meat thermometer, I'd just cook until the liquid has cooked off and the meat thermometer reads 165F.
This sounds amazing! We are having friends over and I would love to make this. If I were to make this with 6 lbs of beef, should I multiply the recipe by 6? Also, could I use a slow cooker instead?
Sarah Menanix -
Thank you! I've never made more than two servings of this dish, but just wanted to clarify - are you using 6lbs of short ribs? I think multiplying by 6 would be great - the veggies and lentils underneath are so good that having a little extra is a good thing. I think you could use a crockpot, as long as you browned the meat in batches on the stove first, and made sure all the meat fit in an even layer. If I were going to multiply this recipe, I'd probably use two heavy-bottomed pots, like a Le Creuset dutch oven, so the meat isn't overcrowded. Hope this helps! Please let me know what you end up doing and how it turns out!
Yes! I have 6lbs of short ribs. Thank you for replying so quickly! I will let you know how it turns out.