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Braised Beef Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions & Baharat

January 26, 2015

By Kath Dedon

When I tasted a friend’s Braised Beef Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions and Baharat, I knew I needed the recipe. The ribs were melt-in-your mouth tender and the sauce was incredible. I was already familiar with Amanda Bevill’s and Julie Kramis Hearne’s new book, World Spice at Home. Tasting these ribs made me positive that I would have to add the book to my library.

Amanda is the owner of a wonderful local spice shop near the Pike Place Market, World Spice Merchants. Julie is a professional chef who has coauthored three other cookbooks. Together, they created a book full of exciting recipes using exotic spices which may be new to you.

Our friend, Jill, who made the short ribs for us, just so happens to be Julie’s mother-in-law! She not only had the book, but also the World Spice at Home Flavor Companion. It’s a collection of 16 different spices and spice blends: Ras el Hanout, Harissa, Tikka Masala, Kashmiri Curry, Kashmiri Garam Masala, Israeli Za’atar, Syrian Za’atar, Poudre de Colombo, Berbere, Dukkah, Baharat, Besar, Chinese Five Spice, Urfa Biber, Aleppo, and Sumac. Each jar contains two tablespoons of spice, enough to try at least a couple of the recipes.

After Jill’s fabulous dinner, I not-so-subtly let it be known that I wanted World Spice at Home and the Flavor Companion. My sister gave me both for my birthday last month. (Thank you, Joan!)

The Flavor Companion makes it very easy for people unfamiliar with some of the spices to give them a try. However, with a well stocked spice pantry, you can make the spice blends yourself. Amanda and Julie give the recipes for all of the blends in the book.

I recently made the Braised Beef Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions and Baharat for Carrie’s birthday dinner. Because it’s a slow braise, it takes some time to make it but it is very easy. It’s a great dish for entertaining! Since it may be the BEST short ribs recipe I have ever tasted, I’m sure I’ll be making it again. Probably soon! I would definitely make this just for Bob and me and I’d be thrilled to have leftovers to enjoy!

I am really looking forward to exploring some of the other recipes in World Spice at Home!

I served the ribs and carrots over mashed potatoes.

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions & Baharat


Braised Beef Short Ribs with Caramelized Onions and Baharat

(Adapted from a recipe in Amanda Bevill’s and Julie Kramis Hearne’s World Spice at Home)


(print the recipe)


Serves 6


Because I had already used a lot of the Baharat in my Flavor Companion to season steaks, I blended up some more for this recipe. It was very easy to do. I use a Krups coffee grinder. To clean the grinder, grind raw white rice or bread crumbs.


Baharat (makes 1/3 cup) 

½ teaspoon whole cloves

1 tablespoon allspice berries

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons coriander seed

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

½ teaspoon cardamom seed


Put all of the ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder and grind together. Store in an airtight container.


Spices for Baharat




Short ribs

½ cup flour (I used brown rice flour to make it wheat free)

2 tablespoons baharat

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 – 5 pounds beef short ribs

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sweet onions, cut into 1/2–inch slices

1 cup beef broth

½ cup ketchup

½ cup beer

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon dry mustard

6 medium carrots, peeled and cut at an angle into 2-inch pieces

1 dried bay leaf


Beef short ribs


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ and position a rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Mix the flour, baharat, salt and pepper together. Dredge the short ribs in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

3. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil.

4. Brown the ribs in batches (you don’t want to crowd the pan) for 3–4 minutes on each side.

5. Remove the ribs from the pan.

Browned ribs

browned short ribs


6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until they are softened.

cooking onions


7. Put the onions and the ribs in a large Dutch oven. Stir in the broth, ketchup, beer, brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard.

braising the ribs


8. Cover the pot and braise in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.

9. Add the carrots and bay leaf to the pot. Cover, and put the pot back in the oven to braise for another hour, or until the meat is fork-tender.

10. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.


Braised Beef Short Ribs tall



World Spice Flavor Companion

World Spice Flavor Companion


World Spice Baharat

World Spice Baharat


4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 6:28 am

    Even this “not usually a beef fan” can attest to their deliciousness 🙂

  2. January 27, 2015 7:44 am

    This looks awesome! Hearty for sure!

    • January 27, 2015 9:54 am

      Hearty is a great description of this recipe! It would be perfect comfort food for a cold Connecticut day. Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂

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