My friend Shai introduced me to this incredible idea: rubbing beef with equal parts coffee and coriander, with a pinch of sugar. I’ve been using this rub for years, but the tweak of using Arabic coffee brings in a subtle hint of cardamom as well. Look for ground Arabic coffee in a specialty Middle Eastern grocery store or substitute by adding a pinch of cardamom to your favourite coffee. This recipe features a rib cooking technique that you can use for beef, pork and even lamb ribs. Plus, the pomegranate BBQ sauce is another go-to that you can rely on all grilling season.
Excerpted from Eat, Habibi, Eat! Fresh Recipes for Modern Egyptian Cooking by Shahir Massoud Copyright © 2021 Shahir Massoud. Photography by Kyla Zanardi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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Preheat the oven to 300°F. Mix the coriander, coffee, sugar and chili flakes in a small bowl. Rub the seasoning all over the ribs and massage into the meat. Wrap the beef ribs tightly in foil, then wrap again in another piece of foil. This tight wrapping helps to trap the heat and steam, allowing the ribs to cook slowly and become fall-apart tender. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and cook for 3 hours.
To make the barbecue sauce, heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Sweat the garlic, onion and ginger in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the paprika, cinnamon and chili flakes and cook for an additional minute, then add the ketchup, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer over very low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until darkened and thickened. This sauce can be made several days in advance.
Remove the ribs from the oven and unwrap. They should be fork-tender and almost falling off the bone. Coat the ribs in the sauce.
Heat some olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the ribs with a generous pinch of salt and place on the grill pan. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side to caramelize the sauce, but be mindful not to burn the sugars. Remove, carve individual ribs for serving and enjoy!
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