This Simple Recipe Will Make You Want Catalan Short Ribs

Are you looking for a fresh recipe for braising short ribs? Our Catalan-style recipe offers a tasty and spoon-tender dish bursting with the unique flavors of the region. Read on for the simple recipe and try cooking something new.

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Catalonia is distinct from the rest of Spain, with its own language and local customs. Being on the Mediterranean coast and extending to the snow-capped mountains, Catalonia has a variety of ingredients like tomatoes, red peppers, eggplants, mushrooms, artichokes, beans, fish and seafood, pork, and lamb. Familiar sauces like romesco and aioli have Catalan origins, and there is a traditional version of surf and turf mar i muntanya – literally “sea and mountain.”

Catalan-Style Braised Short Ribs

Called estofado – Spanish for “stew” – this Catalan-style dish of braised short ribs is flecked with black oil-cured olives and mushrooms then finished with picada, a tasty mixture of almonds, toasted bread, vinegar, and fresh herbs. The spoon tender ribs can be made in a traditional clay cassola, or cazuela, a shallow clay casserole dish that is typical of the Catalan kitchen, and can go from oven to table. We use a Dutch oven for convenience and serve the stew in a shallow dish.

spanish-style-beef-short-rib-stew-recipeThis recipe will serve six people.


  • Neutral oil
  • 3 lbs Angus Beef Short Ribs, Boneless, cut into 3” pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 container Veal Demi-Glace
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 package Organic Chef’s Mix Mushrooms, trimmed and rough chopped
  • 2/3 cup pitted black oil-cured olives, rough chopped
  • 2/3 cup Marcona almonds
  • 4 thick slices country bread
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season short ribs with salt and pepper then dredge in flour. Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, sear the short ribs on all sides until they’re a deep chestnut color. Remove short ribs from the pot and set aside in a rimmed tray or bowl.
  2. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot and place over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Smash and roughly chop 5 cloves of garlic and add to the pot, sauté about 3 minutes more. Stir in tomato and anchovy pastes, mixing to coat the vegetables; cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Raise heat to medium-high then carefully add the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom and sides of the pot. Cook for about 6 minutes then add the demi-glace, water, thyme, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick; return short ribs to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Bring mixture to a boil then lower heat to maintain a simmer and cover. Cook for an hour then add mushrooms and olives. Continue to cook until short ribs are tender, easily breaking apart, and sauce has thickened, about 1-2 hours more. Remove and discard thyme stems, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper, if desired. Cover and keep warm while making the picada.
  4. Brush the bread slices with oil and toast on both sides in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden and crispy. Roughly tear the bread into chunks and toss in a large bowl along with almonds, remaining garlic clove (very finely chopped), lemon zest, sherry vinegar, and parsley.
  5. Serve stew with the picada and your favorite Spanish wine.

Like most braised meat dishes, this stew can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cook the stew through step 3 then cool, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to eat, bring the stew back up to a simmer over medium-high heat and proceed with step 4. If you can’t find Marcona almonds, toast blanched almonds in olive oil until fragrant and golden then season with salt. Cool completely before using.

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