Short Ribs over Couscous with Tangier Vegetables

Photos by Rush Jagoe

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6 servings

    Short Ribs
  • 2½ pounds boneless short ribs
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into eighths
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • ½ head of fennel, cut into wedges
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Tangier spice
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ orange zest
  • 2½ cups water
  • Short rib orange jus (recipe follows)
  • Dukkah (recipe follows)
  • Black tea honey syrup (recipe follows)
  • Medjool dates, for garnish
  • Dried figs, for garnis
  • Short Rib Orange Jus
  • 2 cups reserved braising liquid
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Dukkah
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1½ tablespoons nigella seeds
  • 4 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Maldon salt
  • ⅓ cups dried shallots
  • ¼ cup dried garlic
  • Black Tea Honey Syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 black tea teabag
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Couscous
  • ¼ cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 strip orange zest
  • 2 strip lemon zest
  • Nub cinnamon stick
  • 1⅛ cups couscous
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tangier Vegetables
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, julienned
  • ½ fennel bulb, julienned
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Tangier spice

Short Ribs

  1. One day before, season raw short ribs with kosher salt and refrigerate in a non-reactive dish, uncovered. Allow to cure for 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large cast-iron skillet, heat canola oil on medium heat. Sear ribs on all sides, allowing meat to develop a dark, golden crust. Place seared ribs in 9×13-inch casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. To the same skillet, add onion, garlic, carrots, fennel, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook until vegetables are golden, about 5 minutes. Add Tangier spice, allspice, and fennel seeds and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to casserole dish with ribs, then add orange zest and enough water to cover ribs with liquid by ½-inch.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Bake in oven for 2½ hours. When finished, allow ribs to cool in braising liquid until dish has reached room temperature.
  5. Remove ribs and strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve liquid for short rib orange jus sauce (recipe follows). Allow ribs to rest while you prepare remaining components of dish.
  6. To assemble, increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Slice ribs against the grain and warm in oven. Place over couscous and tangier vegetables (recipe below). Drizzle with short rib orange jus and black tea honey syrup, then sprinkle liberally with dukkah. Garnish with sliced Medjool dates and dried figs.

Short Rib Orange Jus  

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot. Bring to simmer and cook until reduced by half.


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined.

Black Tea Honey Syrup

Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat, and add tea bag. Let tea steep
for 4 minutes. Remove tea bag. Add honey and salt and stir until completely dissolved.


  1. Place onion, garlic, thyme, orange zest, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick in stock pot and cover with ½ inch water.
  2. Mix couscous and ½ cup cold water in a bowl until evenly damp. Allow moist couscous to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons butter, and salt. Mix gently until butter is evenly distributed.
  3. Place couscous in a steamer basket. Place basket in stock pot with onion and garlic mixture. Cover pot with lid and bring to boil. Steam for 15 minutes. Carefully remove steamer basket from pot and pour couscous into a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons cold water and break up any clumps with your fingers.
  4. Pour couscous back into steamer basket and return to pot. Steam with lid on for an additional 20 minutes. Again, pour couscous into bowl. Use a fork to fluff couscous as it cools for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and remaining butter.

Tangier Vegetables

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet set over medium heat until it just begins to smoke. Add onion and fennel and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add salt and tangier spice and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 5 minutes.

  • From chef Alon Shaya

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