Through a marriage of Mediterranean tradition and Northwest craft ingenuity, Portland’s Olympia Provisions was born. Founder Elias Cairo grew up watching his Greek father cure his own meats at home and later traveled to European to learn the ways of the master salumists before him, eventually bringing Oregon its first USDA-certified salumeria. Today, Olympia Provisions has two restaurants in Portland and a charcuterie house that ships to all 50 states, plus two OP Wurst brat shops, a mobile hot dog cart and catering services.
The shop butchers antibiotic-free, Northwest-grown pork to 100 percent lean, adding in pure, soft fatback and heaps of sea salt, garlic and freshly ground spices into the natural casings and organic white mold. From the house’s debut cookbook, Olympia Provisions Southeast Executive Chef Alex Yoder shares this recipe for wine-braised beef short ribs, soaked in nearly an entire bottle of Applegate Valley Syrah.
“When reduced and cooked with beef, it adds a depth of flavor to the braising liquid while also providing the flavor of the wine itself, it adds another layer of complexity that complements the short ribs,” Yoder says. “When braised perfectly, the short rib is one of the most delicious and tender pieces of meat. The braising liquid that develops from this dish then becomes a beautiful complementary sauce. It’s the perfect one pot meal.”
Note this recipe does require the ribs to rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Revised from “Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales from an American Charcuterie”
3 onions, quartered
1 carrot, peeled and halved
3 cups Cowhorn Vineyards 2013 Syrah 21, Applegate Valley
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
4 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tablespooons sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
Ground black pepper
8 bone-in beef short ribs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
3 1/4-inch thick slices bacon, diced into lardons
6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, quartered lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 oil-cured olives, pitted and torn in half
16 Gaeta olives, pitted and torn in half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a Dutch oven or large casserole dish, combine the onions, carrot, wine, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, porcini, anchovies, sugar, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of sea salt and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and cook until the liquid has thickened to a consistency just looser than ketchup, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the short ribs with sea salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and brown the ribs evenly on all sides, about 4 minutes per side, working in batches, if necessary. Set aside.
When the wine mixture has the right consistency, add the ribs to the Dutch oven and cover with chicken stock, making sure they are submerged. Cover and braise in the oven until the ribs are tender when pierced with a fork, about 3 hours. Let the ribs cool completely in their braising liquid, then refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the Dutch oven from the refrigerator. The fat on the surface of the braising liquid will be about 1/4-inch thick and hard as plastic; remove it by peeling it off, or if needed, put on gloves and crack it into pieces, then fish out the pieces and discard them. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the ribs from the braising liquid and transfer to a medium baking dish.
Return the Dutch oven with the braising liquid (fat removed) to the oven and heat until it is fully liquid again, about 10 minutes. Pour the liquid through a strainer set over a bowl and discard the solids, set the liquid aside. Place the bacon lardons on a baking sheet and bake until they are crisped, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Add enough strained braising liquid to the baking dish holding the ribs to fill the bottom, about 1 cup or so. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil and season with sea salt. Place on a baking sheet, and roast along with the ribs until the potatoes are golden brown, and the ribs are warmed through, about 25 minutes.
While the potatoes and ribs are roasting, add the oil-cured and Gaeta olives, bacon lardons and remaining strained braising liquid to the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and reduce the liquid to 2 cups, about 20 minutes; it should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Add the butter and stir continuously until it is melted and combined into the sauce. Stir in the parsley and season with black pepper to taste.
Arrange three potato wedges on each of the eight plates and top with a rib. Spoon sauce over each rib, taking care to distribute lardons, olives and sauce evenly over the meat.