Flanken ribs with prunes is a variation on a dish that I’ve been enjoying for decades. We traditionally serve this on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, when it is suggested that you eat something sweet (for a sweet year ahead!), but of course flanken can be eaten year round. It is especially delicious to serve on a cold fall or winter evening.
If you’re not familiar with flanken short ribs, here’s what you need to know: they’re beef short ribs and should be treated as such! More info below on how to cook ’em and exactly why they’re a different shape than traditional beef short ribs.
Why do we love this recipe so much? The flanken ribs become fall off the bone tender, the prunes and carrots add sweetness, and the sauce is so luscious you’ll want to lick the bowl clean.
It’s the sweet and savory dinner of our dreams, and yes, it is totally special occasion worthy!
What Are Flanken Style Short Ribs?
Flanken ribs are beef short ribs that have been cut across the bone instead of between the bone.
Think about traditional beef short ribs. They are usually about 3-4″ in length, with the meat of the rib attached to the entire length of the bone (and just some cartilage on the other side).
Flanken short ribs, by contrast, are about 8″ long and have 4 tiny pieces of bone in them. That’s because there were were essentially four beef short ribs attached to each other and the butcher cut them across the bone instead of in between the bone. There you have it — flanken!
Same cut of meat, just butchered in a different way.
Ingredients for Flanken Short Ribs
- Flanken short ribs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Red wine
- Beef stock (low-sodium)
- Tomato paste
- Ground cinnamon
- Fresh rosemary
How To Make Flanken Ribs
Just as if we were braising any other meat — traditional beef short ribs, brisket, leg of lamb, etc. — we first season and sear the meat on the stove, then cook low and slow (covered) in an oven.
- Season the flanken short ribs with kosher salt and black pepper generously on all sides.
- Sear for about 2-3 minutes per side in a very hot pan with a neutral oil (canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil), then set aside.
- To the hot pan, sauté your veggies — onion, carrots, and garlic.
- Deglaze the pan with red wine and beef stock, then mix in tomato paste, and ground cinnamon. Stir to combine and release any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Return ribs to the dutch oven, then add prunes and rosemary. Add an additional splash of stock or water if needed to just cover the flanken ribs.
- Cook at 325 F for 2 ½ – 3 hours or until fall off the bone tender. Dig in!
What To Serve With Flanken
We love to serve flanken with creamy mashed potatoes. You are going to want to drink the cooking liquid from the ribs with a straw! Since that’s not socially acceptable, we recommend pairing the short ribs with something that will sop up the glorious sauce.
If mashed potatoes ain’t your thing, rice, couscous, or crusty baguette are also delicious!
But like, no judgment if you do use a straw. You do you, pal!
Looking for a classic brisket recipe, instead? This recipe from the NYTimes is on our must try list!
If you make Flanken Ribs, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below.
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For other Fall and Winter braised meat recipes, check out the following:
- Classic braised short ribs
- Braised lamb tacos
- Slow roasted beef pappardelle
- Drunken braised short ribs with rye
- Dutch oven
- 2 ½ – 3 lbs flanken style short ribs
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 cups onion diced (about 1 medium onion)
- 2 cups carrots peeled and thinly sliced into rings about ¼" thick
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock low sodium
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups prunes
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Flanken can either be left whole (4 bones per rib) or each rib can be cut in half for smaller portions (2 bones per rib) — personal preference. Season flanken ribs on all sides generously with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Meanwhile, heat a large dutch oven over high heat until very hot. Add canola oil then sear ribs until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer seared flanken to a plate and set aside while you repeat with remaining ribs. This will likely take 2-3 batches. Set aside.
- To the hot pan, add onion and carrots, then cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Pour in wine, then use a spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow wine to cook down for 1-2 minutes, then add beef stock, tomato paste, and ground cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Return seared flanken ribs to the pan. Add prunes and rosemary, then mix. If the flanken is not mostly submerged in liquid, either add additional beef, chicken, or vegetable stock (if you have it) or cover with water. Just enough so the ribs are mosty submerged. They will cook down and shrink a bit as they cook!
- Place lid on top then cook for 2 ½ – 3 hours, or until rib meat is tender and pulls gently away from the bones. Discard rosemary stems. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- If you are not familiar with flanken style short ribs, they are beef short ribs that are cut across the bone instead of between the bone. If they are not on display in the meat area, ask the butcher to cut you flanken style short ribs. They’ll know!
- Braised meats freeze beautifully. Once cooked and cooled to room temperature, skim the fat off the top, then discard. Place flanken, veggies, and juices in either a freezer safe Ziploc bag or an airtight, freezer safe container. Will keep in a freezer for up to 3 months.
- To defrost: either allow to thaw overnight in a refrigerator or place sealed Ziploc bag of flanken in a large pot of cool water. Allow to defrost slowly, replacing water as needed if it’s too cold.
- To reheat: flanken can be reheated in a microwave for a few minutes on high or in a skillet over medium high heat until warmed through. Alternatively, the entire dish can be placed in a skillet or dutch oven and warmed in an oven preheated to 350 F until hot — about 15-20 minutes.