Southern Italian-Style Short Ribs

Slowly roasted short ribs in a red wine sauce with onions, fennel and raisins are ideally suited for a make-ahead meal. Use leftover ribs in Rach’s Beef and Broccoli recipe.


  • 10 bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges with root end attached
  • 1 large or 2 medium bulbs fennel, cut into wedges, plus 1/2 cup fennel fronds
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • A scant palmful of golden raisins, chopped
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 bottle Nero d’Avola or other spicy red wine
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Orange or lemon zest (or both), for garnish
  • Shaved Pecorino cheese, for garnish
  • Ciabatta bread, for serving


Pre-heat the oven to 500°F.

Bring the short ribs to room temperature. Pat the ribs dry, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and drizzle with EVOO. Arrange the ribs on a broiler pan and roast until well browned, 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the anchovies and stir to melt them into the EVOO. Add the garlic, bay leaves, onions and fennel bulb and season with pepper. Stir for a few minutes to develop some color on the bottom of the pan, then add the tomato paste, raisins and cloves. Stir for a minute or two more, then add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Add the short ribs to the Dutch oven and stir to coat with the sauce. Cover and roast in the oven until the ribs are very tender, 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours. Remove the ribs to a platter and cover with foil. Reduce the sauce for 10-15 minutes more.

Reserve four short ribs for another meal. Add the remaining ribs (on or off the bone) to the sauce. Divide among the serving dishes and top with the parsley, fennel fronds, a sprinkle of zest and some Pecorino cheese. Serve with the bread for mopping up the sauce.

Cook’s Note: If you’re not serving the short ribs immediately, cool them and store in the refrigerator. Reheat over a low flame or in a moderate oven. Wrap the bread in plastic to store, then crisp and reheat in the oven.

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