This recipe has been provided by our guest chef Olia Hercules

Serves 6-8


1.2kg beef ribs or shin

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 onions, peeled

1 tsp tomato paste

1-3 long red chillies (depending on how hot you like it)

2 tins good-quality tinned tomatoes

2 fermented gherkins or green fermented tomatoes

2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp khmeli-suneli

50g butter

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 bunch purple or regular basil, finely sliced

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked

chilli flakes to serve

Quinoa to serve as a side


1. Place the meat into a large pot and cover with cold water.

2. Add a little salt and the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Take off the scum and lower the flame to its lowest setting. Keep skimming off the fat and reserve it for later. Cook for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the beef is tender and falling off the bone.

3. Take the meat out and raise the heat to reduce the beef stock by half.

4. Slice three of the onions thickly and one thinly.

5. In a large casserole pan heat the beef fat and add the onions, reserving the thin slices for later. Cook them over a medium heat until they soften and start getting some colour.

6. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute over a high heat. Then, keeping the heat high, add the tinned tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, to reduce and concentrate.

7. Now squash whole chillies with the back of your knife and add them to the tomato sauce. Add the spices, the meat and the fermented tomatoes or gherkins. This is not a soup, but a very saucy stew, so add half a ladleful of the reserved beef stock and then see if you may want a little more.

8. Cook over a low heat until it boils. Then take it off the heat and add the crushed garlic, basil, parsley and coriander. Serve with some raw onions sprinkled over. Have some fresh, chunky, soft white bread for mopping up the pieces.

9. Overcook quinoa until it has a porridge like consistency.

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