This recipe is inspired by three dishes: The Silver Palate’s Chicken Marbella, Galbijjim (Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs) which a friend brought to share at our Thanksgiving celebration, and the lemon zest flecked dates in Amanda Hesser’s Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Almonds.
Chicken Marbella is my picky son’s favorite celebratory dish, even though he does not eat the prunes. I thought dates could fill a similar sweet-savory role and decided to pair them with beef, as in Galbijjim. I love the combination of lemon zest with dates, which I discovered in Amanda Hesser’s recipe (after a dish she had at Sitka & Spruce in Seattle).
I use wine here, but you can also use beer, which results in a lighter dish. If you want to go the beer route, I recommend a Belgian ale.
You can put this together leisurely on Friday night and enjoy it on Sunday for supper. Or, to speed up the process, you can start Saturday early morning and let it sit all day in the fridge, braise in the evening, let it cool, refrigerate Saturday night, finish and enjoy Sunday evening.