Braised Beef Short Ribs with Coriander and Cardamom


Yet another braise to get us all through the winter months. It is hard to imagine, with the wind biting below zero, that winter is not yet upon us. Harder still to think that we have another couple weeks of “technically fall” before the Winter Solstice. Nevertheless, it is cold in New England, and gosh darnit I want to braise.

At the grocery store, I saw some great looking English Short Ribs, and I valiantly thumbed through my 4-inch binder of clipped recipes to locate a short rib preparation that I hadn’t yet attempted. I found a recipe from an April 2007 issue of Bon Appetit (pre-redesign: those were the days) for coriander and cardamom spiced Short Ribs printed in the annual Restaurant issue’s R.S.V.P. section. The restaurant in question was the Inn at West View Farm in Dorset, VT and a woman named Cheryl Parker O’Connor requested the recipe. No sooner had I finished and tasted this delicious dish, but what do I see in my November (2008) Bon Appetit magazine? The same recipe, from the same Inn, in the same (R.S.V.P.) section, requested by Franklin Moore of Montreal.

This bugs me on a number of levels. First – I am using up ridiculous amounts of storage space in my small condo pantry for all my recipe clippings and cookbooks. If the editors of Bon Appetit (or other food magazines for that matter) are going to just reprint the same recipes they have in previous issues, it is very possible that I will have duplicate clippings in there, thus extending the years it will take me to cook through the growing pile, as well as the angst my husband has over the size of said pile. Second – as I have mentioned before, I have often requested recipes through Bon Appetit‘s R.S.V.P. section – in particular a Valentine’s Day special from New York’s Nice Matin (Red snapper with a Blackberry Merlot Sauce) that still haunts me – to no success. Yet this “Mr. Moore” from “Montreal” dares to ask for a recipe that has ALREADY BEEN PRINTED BEFORE, and Bon Appetit has the gall to give give it to him! Over my transcendent snapper dish, no less!  Finally – I am unnerved by the very thought that Bon Appetit is running out of new recipes to print.  My blog, not to mention the rest of the foodie blogosphere, relies on the illusion that there will never be an end to the number of possible ingredient combinations printed in our cookbooks and magazines.  If Bon Appetit is repeating recipes already, what will our children write about on their blogs that hasn’t already made it onto the internet?  Oh, the humanity!

OK, rant over.  Back to the food.  These were damn good short ribs!  I can see why so many (including Cheryl and Franklin) are fans.  As RJ said, the flavor and spice balance is perfect – enhancing the meatiness rather than overpowering it.  We served the ribs with lots of the cooking liquid over egg noodles.  RJ thinks potatoes are too heavy to be paired with a braised meat – I tend to disagree, as does the Inn at West View Farm which “serves the ribs with mashed potatoes, braised carrots and snap peas”, but the noodles worked fine as a compromise. 

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Coriander and Cardamom, from Bon Appetit twice over (this text, though, is out of the April 2007 issue – very slight changes were made to the November reprint)!

(Serves 4 to 6)Beef ribs

1/2 c. canola oil
4 lbs. beef short ribs
4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 whole head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tbs. ground cardamom
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 750ml. bottle of dry red fruity wine, such as Zinfandel
2 c. low salt chicken broth

Beef short ribs braising liquid

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Heat canola oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over high heat.  Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper.  Working in batches, add ribs to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch.  Transfer ribs to large bowl.  Add carrots, onion, leek and garlic to pot.  Cook until vegetables are brown, stirring often, about 12 minutes.  Add coriander and cardamom, then flour; stir to coat the vegetables.  Add wine and bring sauce to a boil.  Return ribs and any accumulated juices from bowl to pot.  Add chicken broth.  Bring to boil, cover, and transfer pot to oven.  Braise ribs until tender, about 2 hours.

[Bon Appetit here notes that this recipe can be made up to two days ahead, cooled on the counter uncovered, then refrigerated.  They say that the added resting time is good for the flavor of the dish.  I did make this ahead and found it was delicious, plus it made it easier to scoop out some of the extra fat that had cooled on the surface.]

If made ahead, warm up the dish on the stovetop.  Remove the ribs to a large platter.  Stain sauce into large saucepan, discarding solids in strainer (as you can see above, I did not do this step – I like carrots!).  Bring sauce to boil, then pour over ribs and serve.

**A couple of nights later, I took the remaining short rib and shredded it up with two forks.  The shredded  meat can be used in Enchiladas or mixed in with your favorite (homemade) tomato sauce for a quick ragu.

Shredded Beef ribs


  1. Melissa Vokey says:

    Hi Katharine – Caroline says I should try this next weekend, but that WHOLE HEAD of garlic sounds daunting. Am I okay with just a clove or two?

    BTW, that is indeed one of the best pork recipes ever. I do it with rosemary instead of sage, and in the last half hour I add a couple of cans of sauerkraut (drained) and mix it all up with the lovely drippings. Of course, not everyone likes sauerkraut, but if you do like it, it really tastes great this way!

  2. KK Millet says:

    It does sound pretty daunting, doesn’t it? My thought is that the slow, long cooking process takes all of the really strong garlic flavor out. However, I halved the recipe so just put four or five halved garlic cloves into the pot. It should be noted, too, that if someone does use the whole garlic head, they should definitely strain the solids out of the sauce to avoid eating garlic’s paper skin.

  3. Sam says:

    Great recipe! A group of us have a quarterly “international dinner club”. Each meal is representative of some cuisine not readily found on the local restaurant scene. The last one was Obama night. We had Indonesian, Hawaiian and Kenyan food. All delicious. The short ribs filled in as Nyama Choma, or roasted meat. And they were great! Kenyans probably would have served goat short ribs, but thinking about all the cute goats I have known in my life, I opted for beef. Also acceptable, by the way. My only caveat … don’t try and serve Kenyan wine with the ribs. Go for Tusker beer, made in Nairobi, available at Marti’s Liquors in Newton.

  4. Raymond says:

    thanks for trying out our rib recipe. the original recipe which is much longer is on our blog. we were very surprised to see the recipe in the RSVP section again.

  5. KK Millet says:

    Raymond – I am thrilled that you stopped by my humble blog. I will definitely check out yours, for if the short ribs are any indication, the rest of your recipes will be spectacular.

  6. I needed to thannk ƴou fοr thiѕ gοod read!! Ι absolutely loved
    every little bit of it. I ɦave you book marked too check
    οut neա thingѕ you post…

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s