Posted by: Catherine | February 17, 2009

Braised Flanken with Pomegranate (RR*)



(Reader Recipe)

My friend Kitty, a wonderful cook (see her other recipes, below), writes: “I cannot describe the greatness of this dish, which I got from The New York Times a few months ago. It is one of the best things I (or my dinner guests) ever ate. By the way, I omitted the pomegranate molasses (as no food store I visited had even heard of it) and it was still delicious.”

When I made this recipe I bought  pomegranate molasses at a middle-eastern food store (or, you can order it online at,$9). We had another couple over for dinner and there wasn’t a morsel left on anybody’s plate.


(4 to 6 servings)

4 lbs. flanken ribs

1/2 t. salt, more to taste

1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper, more to taste

2 T extra virgin olive oil

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

3 medium celery stalks, diced

2 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned, quartered lengthwise and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 shallot, chopped

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/3 cup dry red wine

2 cups chicken stock, or as needed

3 thyme branches (see note)

1 rosemary branch

1 bay leaf

3 whole cloves

1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)

1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear meat in batches until dark golden, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer meat to a platter.

Add oil to pan and sauté carrots, celery, leeks, garlic, and shallot until vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes; season lightly with salt and pepper. Add pomegranate juice and wine, and cook, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Return meat to pot. Liquid should reach halfway up sides of meat. If not, add a little more stock or water.

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook, turning meat every 30 minutes until fork tender, about 2 hours.

If you have time, let meat cool and chill overnight. The next day, remove fat from surface, then reheat over low heat. Stir in the pomegranate molasses if using, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and cilantro just before serving.

NOTE:  You may wrap herbs and cloves in cheesecloth before adding to pot; remove before chilling or serving.

Other Recipes from Kitty

405921Scandanavian Cold Cucumber Soup



goodtart-11“One-Minute” Blueberry Tart



  1. Pomegranate molasses is a wonderful addition to any pantry. I love using it in lentil salad or to make the classic Persian dish Fesenjan. This looks like a knock-your-socks-off recipe!

    • Thank you for commenting….I can vouch for Kitty’s taste in food. She’s a great cook. I’m with you– can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Looks amazing! I’m going to Tehran Market on Wilshire to see if I can find the molasses. I’ll make it on Saturday night and report back… 🙂

    • Yes, they have it there….Can’t wait to hear, I’m sure it’s delicious and am planning to make it soon, too.

  3. This looks right up my alley. I use pom molasses in what seems like industrial quantities! It’s wonderful mixed in with soft tofu, and egg, and some herbs, and baked. I usually give it a crusty topping too, often with crushed pink lentils and sprayed with olive oil to crisp them up.

    Pom molasses is terrific on salmon as well.

    Very nice site Catherine — I’ll be back!

    • LOVE the idea of the pomegranate molasses on salmon…wonderful! Thank you, and please do come back…

  4. Hi Kitty! I made those awesome flanken ribs for my Oscar party and I made double batch so there would be leftovers, which are on tonight’s menu chez moi! I got unsweetened pomegranate juice at Trader Joe’s and pomegranate molasses at the Tochal Market, a Persian Market on Wilshire Blvd (great hummus there too). But nobody had pomegranates or seeds thereof–Whole Foods told me they are out of season. So i did not use the seeds and look forward to trying the recipe again in pomegranate season. I also forgot to sprinkle on the chopped cilantro, which nobody noticed but which i’m sure adds another dimension of flavor…next time. My family knows that i always forget one key component of any meal i serve to company. Looking forward to trying your other recipes!

  5. I made this too when I saw it in the Times. I loved it and I intend to make it again for Rosh Hashanah. I did use pomegranate molasses and seeds as well.

    I think the recipe would be perfectly fine without the seeds as they are more of a garnish than anything. And since it’s September I don’t know that I’ll find pomegranates anyway. I love cilantro but you can probably skip it without great loss to the dish.

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