Yemenite Short Ribs

Here, star chef Michael Solomonov combines turmeric, black pepper, and cumin for a simple but robust blend that wholly complements luscious beef short ribs.

Yemenite Short Ribs
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
15 hrs 20 mins
6 servings

An essential ingredient in Yemenite cooking, hawaij is a blend of spices often used to flavor soups and stews. A variation of the blend, spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger, is used to flavor coffee.

Reem Kassis's fermenting schug — the bright, fiery Middle Eastern condiment — not only preserves it but adds wonderful complexity to the already intensely flavored sauce.


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 (5-pound) beef short rib plates (3 ribs per plate)

Fermented Serrano Schug

  • 1 pound serrano chiles, stemmed

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander


  1. Whisk together salt, turmeric, black pepper, and cumin in a medium bowl until blended. Rub mixture evenly over short rib plates. Place rib plates, bone sides down, on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, 8 hours or up to overnight. Remove short ribs, and let stand until ribs come to room temperature, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 250°F. Transfer short ribs on rack in baking sheet to preheated oven, and cook, uncovered, until meat is tender but not falling apart and a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 190°F, 5 hours and 30 minutes to 6 hours and 30 minutes. (Alternatively, to test for doneness, use a paring knife to pierce the meat between the bones. There should be no resistance.) Remove ribs from oven, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest 30 minutes. Carve each rib plate into individual ribs, and serve with schug.

Meanwhile, make the Fermented Serrano Schug

  1. Place chiles and salt in a food processor; process until mixture is slightly coarse and loose, 2 minutes to 2 minutes and 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Transfer to an airtight container. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days. (If desired, transfer to refrigerator and chill up to 1 week.)

  2. Just before serving, add lemon juice, olive oil, and coriander to schug, and stir until blended.

Make ahead

To reheat cooked ribs, preheat oven to 300°F. Place ribs in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water, and cover tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven until warmed through, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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