Braised Short Ribs with Plums in Nice Malbec
6 bone-in beef short ribs, 1 Lb. each, patted dry Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1⁄4 C. olive oil
2 Carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 Onion, finely diced
1 Stalk celery, finely diced
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. Nice Malbec
9 Oz. moist prunes, all but 6 cut into quarters
1 C. canned crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven large enough to hold all 6 short ribs, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Using tongs, add the short ribs in two batches, and sear on all sides until well browned. Transfer short ribs to a large plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onion, celery, basil and thyme and sauté, scraping up any brown bits or fond that may be on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Stir in the stock, Malbec wine, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and all but the 6 whole prunes. Bring to a simmer. Nestle the short ribs into the sauce in one layer, with the bones facing the sides, not on top and not under the short-rib. Top each short rib with a whole prune; cover the Dutch oven with the lid or tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook the short ribs until the meat is very tender and beginning to fall off the bones, about 4 hours.
Using tongs, carefully transfer the short ribs to a platter and tent with foil. Be sure to grab the meat, the bone and the prune on top together. Strain the sauce through a sieve or china cap, pressing gently with the back of a spoon or ladle, into a saucepan. Simmer the over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, or until thickened and reduced by half. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Spoon the reduced pan juices over the beef. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Advance Preparation: Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Keep sauce separate and reheat gently before pouring over reheated short ribs.