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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!


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