Pomegranate Fig Braised Beef Short Ribs (Photo courtesy Valley Fig Growers)

Recipe Corner: Pomegranate Fig Braised Beef Short Ribs


FRESNO — Valley Fig Growers is a California fig grower-owned cooperative. Valley Fig Growers’ Blue Ribbon and Orchard Choice California Figs are part of California’s rich history of agriculture in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Its grower-owned cooperative has been packing delicious, nutritious California Figs since 1959.

“Our figs are always GMO-Free, vegan friendly, and packed with nutrition. Whether you enjoy figs for their nutritional powerhouse reputation, their wonderful taste, or their reputed health qualities, we know you’ll be back for more. The best dried figs come from California. Our fig-grower-owned cooperative is one of the largest handlers of figs in North America, having 30 grower members representing about 40% of the California fig industry. The soil and climate in the San Joaquin Valley are ideal for growing figs. Figs thrive in the Valley’s hot, dry summer sun and rest in the cool, wet winters. Whether you’re using our dried figs or fig products in a commercial kitchen or enjoying our dried figs at home, the benefits of dried figs are numerous. You can find them in your favorite store or online, under the brands: Sun-Maid, Orchard Choice and Blue Ribbon. You can count on California Figs,” says Linda Cain, Vice President of Marketing & Retail Sales.

“Here’s a delicious recipe from California Fig Growers for your next special event or celebration. The hallmark of an oven-braised short rib recipe is meat so tender it falls off the bone. Braised short ribs frequently appear on restaurant menus but can often be daunting to attempt at home. This recipe for braised beef short ribs brings the restaurant home. This Mediterranean-inspired take on classic, red wine-braised ribs boasts meltingly tender beef and a deeply flavorful sweet but tart sauce made with pomegranate juice and figs,” adds Linda.


Tips from Valley Fig Growers for this recipe

“Roasting the short ribs in the oven enabled us to render and discard a significant amount of fat. After braising, we de-fatted the cooking liquid, then blended it with the vegetables and part of the figs to create a velvety sauce. For the figs, we prefer Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid Mission Figs with their deep, earthy sweetness that accents the rounded tanginess of the pomegranate juice. You could also use Golden Figs for a more delicate flavor,” says Linda.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

“Short ribs come in two styles: English-style ribs contain a single rib bone and a thick piece of meat. Flank-style ribs are cut thinner and have several smaller bones. While either will work here, we prefer the less expensive and more readily available English-style ribs. If using flank-style ribs, flip the ribs halfway through roasting in step 1.”

The main spice in this recipe for braised beef short ribs is ras el hanout. Literally defined as “head of shop,” this complex Moroccan spice blend traditionally features a host of warm spices; the flavor and spiciness of store-bought versions can vary greatly by brand, or you can make your own.*

Serve this dish spooned over polenta with a garnish of cilantro and sprinkle on sesame seeds.



4 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs, trimmed

Salt and pepper

4 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice

1 cup water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped fine

1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

2 tablespoons ras el hanout*

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, stemmed and halved

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro



Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450°F. Pat short ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Arrange ribs bone side down in a single layer in a large roasting pan and roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes.

Discard any accumulated fat and juices in pan and continue to roast until meat is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer ribs to bowl and tent loosely with aluminum foil; set aside. Stir pomegranate juice and water into pan, scraping up any browned bits; set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ras el hanout and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in pomegranate mixture from roasting pan and 1/2 cup figs and bring to  simmer. Nestle short ribs bone side up into pot and bring to simmer. Cover, transfer pot to oven, and cook until ribs are tender and fork slips easily in and out of meat, about 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer short ribs to bowl, discard any loose bones, and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Strain braising liquid through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator; transfer solids to blender. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then pour defatted liquid into blender with solids and process until smooth, about 1 minute.

Transfer sauce to now-empty pot and stir in vinegar and remaining 1 cup figs. Return short ribs and any accumulated juices to pot, bring to gentle simmer over medium heat, and cook, spooning sauce over ribs occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer short ribs to serving platter, spoon 1 cup sauce over top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

* The mixture usually consists of over a dozen spices in different proportions. Common ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. It’s essential to the savory pie known as b’stilla, but makes an excellent addition to lamb burgers and roasted chicken as well.


Recipe and photo by Cook’s Country.

Valley Fig Growers

2028 S. Third Street

Fresno, California 93702

PHONE | (559) 237-3893

FAX | (559) 237-3898

EMAIL: info@valleyfig.com

For retails sales, go to:



Connect at:







Eating well starts with a single choice of what to eat. By eating just 4 figs a day, you can partake in fig benefits. If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag @valleyfig – Valley Fig Growers would love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook.

For this recipe, go to:


For Easter Bread Fig Wreath recipe, see: https://valleyfig.com/dried-fig-recipes/fig-easter-bread-wreath-recipe/

For a Braised Brisket Recipe with Apricots and Figs, go to: https://valleyfig.com/dried-fig-recipes/braised-brisket-recipe-apricots-figs

For more fig recipes, see:  https://valleyfig.com/dried-fig-recipes/

© Copyright 2023 Valley Fig Growers. All Rights Reserved.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: