Join! 12 weeks for $1

A career feeding the world of art, fashion and entertainment.

In Mumbai, we learned a home-cook friendly version of Butter Chicken.

Take a cooking class with us and our instructors from around the world.

NEW - 125 simple weeknight recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine.

1000+ hard-to-find items from around the world.

Everything Milk Street. 12 weeks for just $1. Start your trial here.

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

Braised Beef with Dried Figs and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

3¼ hours 1¼ hours active

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

Braised Beef with Dried Figs and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Free

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
  1. 01
    To make the braise, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the shanks and cook, occasionally turning them, until well browned on both sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juices, the broth, juniper and figs, then bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, about 2 hours; stir once about halfway through.
  2. 02
    While the beef is cooking, make the pickled cabbage. In a large bowl, stir together the cabbage, carrots, vinegar, sugar and ¾ teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. 03
    Transfer the shanks to a large bowl; set aside to cool. Tilt the pot to pool the cooking liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface. Add the carrots, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, shred the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding the fat, bone and gristle. When the carrots are tender, return the meat to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Off heat, stir in the orange zest, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. 05
    Stir the mint into the pickled cabbage, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the braise with the pickled cabbage on the side.
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.
.
In the store
More

Mains

Reviews
Down arrow

Braised Beef with Dried Figs and Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Get Ready to Cook

4 to 6

Servings

3¼ hours

1¼ hours active

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.

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

Step 1 of 5

Make the Braise

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

To make the braise, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the shanks and cook, occasionally turning them, until well browned on both sides, 7 to 10 minutes.


Add the tomatoes with juices, the broth, juniper and figs, then bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.


Cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, about 2 hours; stir once about halfway through.

Step 2 of 5

Make the 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
¾
teaspoon salt

While the beef is cooking, make the pickled cabbage. In a large bowl, stir together the cabbage, carrots, vinegar, sugar and ¾ teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 3 of 5

Add the Carrots

2
medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces

Transfer the shanks to a large bowl; set aside to cool. Tilt the pot to pool the cooking liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface.


Add the carrots, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.

Step 4 of 5

Shred the Meat

2
teaspoons grated orange zest
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Meanwhile, shred the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding the fat, bone and gristle. When the carrots are tender, return the meat to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.


Off heat, stir in the orange zest, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

Step 5 of 5

Serve

¼
cup finely chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Stir the mint into the pickled cabbage, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the braise with the pickled cabbage on the side.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Mains
MAY 2022
MILK STREET KITCHIN-TO™ AND SERRATED KITCHIN-TAN™ SET

$189.90 VALUE

Success!

Thank you for participating in our monthly giveaway!

Entry Form
How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your giveaway entry as well as communications from Milk Street. We will not share or rent your email address. You can unsubscribe from receiving our emails at any time.

Enter the Milk Street Giveaway
Enter the Milk Street Giveaway