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Harvest Recipes from Hackettstown Purveyors

Prickly Pear

Profile and photos by Alison Hein

Don’t be fooled by this understated storefront. Inside, you’ll find a chic, elegant room that’s airy and light. Tables are covered with pressed white cloth, and adorned with fresh flowers. High ceilings and hip, gold-patterned walls add warmth. Peek inside the menu and find a delightful array of choices.

Chef Joe Andes and his wife Linda opened Prickly Pear eight years ago to be close to home for their two young children, and to create a comfortable, local restaurant with great food – the kind of place they would want to dine with their friends.

Linda Andes handles the “front of house”, while Chef Joe Andes mans the kitchen. His style is what he terms Contemporary American, at various times offering traditional Italian flavor, sophisticated French flair, or a spicy Asian twist to his creations. Prickly Pear’s regular menu changes twice a year, and weekend specials align with the seasons. Soon to reappear on the fall menu is Chef Andes’ popular autumn Lamb Shank.

Prickly Pear holds in-house cooking classes once a month. Chef Andes presides over a converted dining room to demonstrate and prepare a meal for up to 50 attendees. Guests are invited to bring a bottle of wine and a friend or two and enjoy a fun, interactive evening, along with four courses of freshly prepared dishes.

A recent class included instructions for Stuffed Artichoke Hearts, Italian Meatball Soup, and Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake, as well as the recipe for Braised Short Ribs that the Andes wanted to share for this story. “The corn, cucumbers and tomatoes are just about finished for the season”, says Linda Andes. “This is a hearty, fall recipe that must be slow-roasted for a few hours. It’s the kind of warm and comforting dish people look for as the weather begins to get cool.”

To make his Braised Short Ribs, Chef Andes carefully sears his meat, then slow-roasts it in beef jus along with a medley of shallots, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Served with rich Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and flash-cooked haricot verts, it makes a lovely presentation and perfect harvest meal.

Braised Short Ribs With Parmesan Mashed Potatoes and Haricot Verts

Chef Andes


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, sliced
  • 1½ cups onion, diced
  • 1½ cups carrots, diced
  • 1½ cups celery, diced
  • 1 quart plum tomatoes
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 8 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ pound butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound haricot verts, trimmed


Preheat oven to 375°. Add olive oil to a roasting pan and place on stove over medium heat. Add short ribs and braise on all sides, remove and set aside. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until golden brown. Return short ribs to pan and add onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes and beef stock. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 1½ hours.

Boil potatoes until tender, remove and drain. Add butter, milk and parmesan cheese. Mash until smooth and keep warm. Place haricot verts in a small sauce pan, add a little water, a pat of butter, salt and pepper. Cook until tender.

Remove short ribs from the oven. Strain the veggies and reduce the liquid by half and thicken with corn starch slurry. Plate and serve.

Address: 80-30 Main Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Hours: Prickly Pear is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday (11:30 AM - 9:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday and 11:30 AM - 10:00 PM on Friday) and for dinner on Saturday (5:00 PM - 10:00 PM). Closed Sunday and Monday. Other Offerings: Dinner Prix-Fixe menu offered Tuesday through Thursday. Cooking classes offered once a month on a Monday. Off-premises catering services available.

Alcohol: Bring your own

Click or call 908-979-0003