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Milk Street Bowtie Braised Beef with Dried Figs and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Braised Beef with Dried Figs and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

4 to 6 Servings

3¼ hours 1¼ hours active

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For this rich, warming beef braise, adapted from a recipe in “Aegean” by Marianna Leivaditaki, London chef and native of Crete, we use bone-in beef shanks, braise them until meltingly tender, pluck the meat off the bones and return it to the flavorful braising liquid. Dried figs and orange zest lend sweetness that balances the meatiness of the shanks and perfume the dish with the essence of the Mediterranean, while ground juniper berries add piney, resinous notes. Leivaditaki serves the braise with a quick-pickled salad that brightens the flavors and counters the beef’s silkiness with a little crunch.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t use Calimyrna (Smyrna) figs, which are brownish-tan. The seeds have an especially crunchy, gritty texture that doesn’t soften with cooking. Small black mission figs, which are widely available, are the better choice.

3¼ hours

1¼ hours active

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds beef shanks, patted dry
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 quart low-sodium beef broth or water
4 teaspoons juniper berries, finely ground
1 cup dried mission figs, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 pound green cabbage, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
For the Braise
  • 1
  • 3

    pounds beef shanks, patted dry

  • 28

    ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

  • 1

    quart low-sodium beef broth or water

  • 4

    teaspoons juniper berries, finely ground

  • 1

    cup dried mission figs, finely chopped

  • 2

    medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces

  • 2

    teaspoons grated orange zest

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

For the Quick-Pickled Cabbage
  • 1

    pound green cabbage, chopped

  • 2

    medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater

  • ¾

    cup white vinegar

  • 1

    tablespoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼

    cup finely chopped fresh mint

Directions

Braised Beef with Dried Figs and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

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Reviews
Susan K.

In the show, she used fresh tomatoes, whole juniper berries (which she removed before serving), a few fresh figs in addition to dried, water and not beef broth, and much more sugar in the pickled vegetables.