Prune and Almond Braised Short Ribs Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Tony Maws

Adapted by Joan Nathan

Prune and Almond Braised Short Ribs Recipe (1)

Total Time
3¼ hours, plus cooling and chilling
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When the chef Tony Maws’s grandparents died, he decided to start having Passover Seder at his restaurant, Craigie on Main in Cambridge, Mass. This short rib recipe, brought to The Times in 2011, was among the dishes he served, both to his family (on the first night) and his diners (on the second and third nights). It’s a Sephardic take on his grandmother’s tsimmes and brisket, prepared a day in advance and refrigerated to let the flavors meld and the fat float to the top to be skimmed. Serve it as part of a Seder, or for just about any special occasion. It is sure to impress. —Joan Nathan

Featured in: Seder for Two, Please: Restaurants Court Tradition

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Yield:6 to 8 servings

  • 7pounds beef short ribs or 5 pounds flanken, cut in 4-inch portions
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • ¼cup rendered duck fat or chicken fat, or canola oil
  • 1large Spanish onion, diced
  • 3large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2celery stalks, diced
  • 3garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1(1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 2cups ruby port
  • 2cups red wine
  • 4cups pitted prunes
  • cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 4ounces shiitake, crimini or other mushrooms, diced
  • ½cup loosely packed chopped parsley
  • 4fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1cinnamon stick
  • 1clove
  • 1star anise
  • Zest of 1 orange, in strips
  • 4cups veal, beef or chicken stock, or as needed

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

2096 calories; 161 grams fat; 66 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 74 grams monounsaturated fat; 9 grams polyunsaturated fat; 82 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams dietary fiber; 42 grams sugars; 67 grams protein; 1895 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Prune and Almond Braised Short Ribs Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Heat oven to 325 degrees. Season short ribs or flanken with salt and pepper. Place a heavy wide pan over medium-high heat. Add the fat or oil and heat until shimmering. Add beef and brown well on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Step


    Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger to the pan, and stir until the onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add port and wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

  3. Step


    In a large Dutch oven or heavy braising pan, combine 2 cups of the prunes, 1 cup almonds, and the mushrooms. In a piece of cheesecloth, tie up ¼ cup of the parsley with the thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon, clove, star anise and orange zest, and add to the pot. Add the meat, the vegetable mixture and enough stock to cover. Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then transfer to the oven. Cook, covered, until the meat is falling off the bones, about 2½ hours. Cool completely in the pan, then refrigerate overnight or until well chilled.

  4. Step


    Skim the fat, then transfer beef to a large bowl, discarding any loose bones. Discard the cheesecloth packet, and transfer remaining broth and vegetables to a food processor. Purée, then return to a clean pan. Add meat and remaining 2 cups whole prunes. Place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until gently reheated. Garnish with remaining ¼ cup parsley and ¼ cup almonds.



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Cooking Notes

Monica D

I really wish that in the time estimate for this recipe they listed the overnight, such as "3h15m, plus overnight." I didn't see that one line until the day I was making this recipe for Passover. It came out great, but may have been better if I had included the overnight/fat skimming step.

I'd also say that these quantities serve about 10 people - we had 6 and only ate half of it. I would definitely cut this recipe in half next time and reduce the sauce before blending.

Ellen K.

I have made this recipe twice now and I was told that this was the best Passover meal my guests had ever had. I did add some dates and apricots in addition to the prunes to make 2 cups of fruit. This is absolutely scrumptious and the leftovers are equally delicious.

Laura Blutstein

Very good. Initially, we ate some before I had a chance to purée the sauce. It is definitely better after the purée step. Made in instapot, pressure cooker setting for about an hour + 5 mins. I used about 4lbs of meat. I used cooking guidelines from an Instantpot cookbook by Melissa Clark for a different short ribs recipe. I didn't have enough time to let off steam as slowly as she recommended (20 mins), so I did it quickly. Came out fine.


Splendid. Divine! I left out the mushrooms and braised on the cooktop for hours -

I froze what we didn't eat, and look forward to enjoying at another meal.


Cognac instead of port cause that's what I had. Just a few prunes and no cinnamon. Super tender and very good.

Paulo Patullo

I cooked it outside the oven for three hours, at medium fire, and it came out great!

They always say to read a recipe all the way through begore you plan to make it that would let you know whether to refrierate in advance if it needs to marinate overnight or refrigerate overnight after cooking. Generally too pot roasts,briskets,and stews taste better if refrigerated overnight and eaten the next day. The flavors seem to meld better that way


I was suspicious of the prunes, but they turned into savory, tender flavor bombs. The meat was falling apart and melted in our mouths. We didn’t purée the sauce and I don’t think I will next time we make this either.


Rich and delicious. The sauce is really good, we kept serving size containers to use for gravy or soup base.


Doubled this for a Passover Seder for 18. Used bone-in short ribs and still had plenty left over, and would opt for boneless next time. Used 1 c prunes, 1 c apricots per batch and did not add additional prunes at end - was plenty sweet already. Pureed 1/2 of sauce and added rest unpureed. Ended up with a lot of extra sauce. Reheated at 275 for almost 2 hours. Really loved the blend of flavors from the bouquet garni. IMHO, Too much sweet (fruit, port) would mask the subtlety of those notes.


Anyone make with brisket?


The recipe doesn’t say if it’s bone in or boneless short ribs. Since flanken is an alternative, and that’s boneless, does that mean boneless short ribs, but then why is it 7 pounds of short ribs compared to 5 of flanken?


?? If making with dates rather than prunes, would you use fewer dates? Dates are much sweeter so maybe only 2 cups. Thoughts??


I read this recipe earlier last week as I was thinking ahead to what would be good and easy before a busy week of Thanksgiving. I chose to make and eat on same day. Forgot the prunes at the grocery (drat!) so I had to sub raisins. This was absolutely delicious! I puréed the sauce and contemplated adding some heavy cream to coax it out a bit, but it was so flavorful on its own I elected not to this time. Absolutely a unique and delightful flavor. Will make again and serve over polenta.


These are fantastic! Day 1-cook the short ribs, day 2-take off the fat and finish the recipe and put into oven proof casserole for serving with the bones sticking up, day 3-reheat in oven. The bones will get browned and the top of the meat will caramelize a bit. Garnish and serve on a buffet. Dramatic and delicious.

Catherine S

Prunes are great with short ribs. I have found using prune baby food works well with many different short rib slow cooker recipes. It adds a little zip to the flavor and thickens the sauce to just the right consistency.


I made this for the New Year and it was superb. I omitted the second 2 cups of prunes because I thought the sauce was sweet enough. A keeper for a special occasion.


I was suspicious of the prunes, but they turned into savory, tender flavor bombs. The meat was falling apart and melted in our mouths. We didn’t purée the sauce and I don’t think I will next time we make this either.


I have made this delicious recipe many times. Have are prepared it with either the short ribs or sometimes brisket, both are great!


THISCook, covered, until the meat is falling off the bones, about 2 1/2 hours. Cool completely in the pan, then refrigerate overnight or until well chilled.


I followed all directions. Sauce too thick and too sweet. Its an interesting flavor provile. Not keen to do again. Sorry.


I actually found the finished product way too sweet for my palate. My husband thought it was fine but a bit rich.


Just set in oven. Used figs, had no prunes. And not an orange in the house so skipped that too. Used a floc de Gascogne instead of port... an amargnac-fortified wine... which was decadent but I had nothing else. And I feel like the puréeing part may be to fussy so will sample it first without. My apartment smells very good right now. : )

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Prune and Almond Braised Short Ribs Recipe (2024)
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