This is one of those dishes that really brings family and friends together. You get a beautiful piece of meat braised on the bone until it pulls away easily and is really soft, rich, salty and delicious. It’s perfect for watching the footy as well as being a typical Middle Eastern way of eating.
Toum is the garlic sauce that goes on basically everything! You put it on toast and we use it in all our purees and sauces. The reason we put it with the short rib is that it helps develop a delicious crust on the outside of the meat when you slow cook it. It’s also a delicious condiment with wagyu. Pita bread is on hand to mop everything up.
2 heads garlic, cloves peeled
2 tsp sea salt
4 lemons, juice only
3 cups vegetable oil
3 cubes ice
Westholme short rib on the bone, in 1 piece
1 cup water
4 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp Aleppo pepper *
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 ½ tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
380ml (1⅗ cups) water
2 tsp salt
100g (⅖ cup) wholegrain flour
400g (3 heaped cups) baker’s flour
vegetable oil spray
semolina flour, for dusting
Sweet or smoked paprika, to serve
Roughly chop garlic cloves then place them in a chilled blender or liquidiser with salt and lemon juice. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally.
Very slowly start to add the oil, as if making a mayonnaise, and blend on high until emulsified. When the sauce heats up add a cube of ice to cool it. Continue to add the oil, drizzling in slowly, until all is absorbed. Finally add the remaining ice. The whole process will take up to 10 minutes and you will end up with a light fluffy sauce. This makes about 3 cups, which will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Toast spices, except salt in a dry pan until they are aromatic.
Place toasted spices in a bowl along with salt and 4 tbsp toum. Mix well. Add beef and rub the mixture all over the meat, making sure it is completely covered.
In a deep cooking tray or slow-cooking pot big enough to fit the short rib, place beef in the tray/pot and add a cup of water. Place a sheet of baking paper and a sheet of foil on top, large enough to cover the tray/pot. Press the foil around the edges of the pot/pan, ensuring it is sealed and airtight. (The meat will dry out if it is not sealed properly.) Place in oven for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat pulls easily from the bone. Keep the cooking juices for serving.
In a bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and water. Leave to sit for 10 minutes.
In a bread mixer with dough attachment, add yeast mix, salt and both flours. Incorporate until it just comes together, then mix on a medium speed for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place dough in a bowl and rub a small amount of olive oil on top. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out to rest for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Using a little bit of vegetable oil spray, roll them into balls and cover with a damp tea towel.
Preheat oven to 220C (430F) and place a cast iron pan or pizza stone (20cm / 8in) in the oven. Make sure that the pan does not have a plastic handle!
While your pan is heating up, dust your bench with semolina flour and roll the dough out into a round pizza shape, about 3mm (1/10 in) high. Carefully remove pan from oven and place dough into pan, being very careful not to burn yourself. Return to oven and cook for 2-3 minutes or until it puffs up. Take it out of the oven and repeat the process until you have all 8 breads cooked.
Place short rib on a plate with some of the cooking juices. Serve with freshly baked pita breads and extra toum on the side.
You can use store-bought ras el hanout and pita, if desired.
Aleppo chilli powder has a gentle heat; you can also use espelette pepper.