Mez's Braised Beef Spare Ribs
I used a Tagine on the stove-top but it could be baked in a slow oven (165˚C) for 3 – 3 ½ hours.
2 onions, peeled & roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
3-4 small red chillis, peeled & roughly chopped
1.5kg beef spare ribs
Salt & black pepper
60ml olive oil
4 whole star anise
10 cardamom pods, roughly bashed in mortar & pestle
1½ tbs tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp allspice (I used 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves & pinch of nutmeg)
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped roughly
6 Medjool dates or 100g soft figs
Pulse onion, ginger, garlic and chillis in a food processor until very finely chopped.
Pat dry the short ribs and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Put 2 tbs oil in large pan and heat; brown ribs on all sides in batches, then transfer to Tagine.
Tip the onion mixture into the same pan, add star anise and cardamom and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add tomato paste, ground spices, tomatoes, a generous grind of salt & pepper and cook for 4-5 mins until the tomatoes start to break down.
Add 700ml of cold water and bring to the boil.
Pour over ribs in tagine and place on stove top; bring to a simmer.
Lower heat and cook for 3 hours, turning ribs whenever you think of it.
Add the dates and simmer for another 30 mins, checking the liquid.
Pull meat off the bones (it should fall off) and enjoy!