Beef ribs braised with orange

Beef ribs braised with orange

Khoresht-e naranj

Mark Roper

Although lamb is far and away the most readily available meat in Iran, beef is used occasionally. For this dish I use beef short ribs that, in true khoresht fashion, are ideal for long, slow cooking. The meat shreds softly away from the bone into an intense orange-scented sauce. You could do this for your diners, and present the dish as a casserole, or you could serve each person with a rib, to attack themselves, which would be the more satisfying option! Sour oranges are a commonplace ingredient in Persian cooking, and I find Seville oranges a good alternative.


Quantity Ingredient
2 seville oranges
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 x 400g beef short ribs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
12 shallots, peeled
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 bay leaves
few sprigs thyme
1 litre good-quality rich beef stock
2 tablespoons shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons Saffron liquid


  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Remove strips of peel from the oranges with a vegetable peeler and cut any clinging pith from the peel. Dry the orange peel on a baking tray in the oven for 15–20 minutes. Reserve both the dried peel and the oranges
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 160ºC. Heat the oil in a large heavybased frying pan over a medium heat. Season the beef ribs generously with salt and pepper, then brown them really well all over. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish.
  3. Add the shallots and carrot to the frying pan and fry for 4–5 minutes over a medium–high heat until they begin to colour a deep golden brown, then tip into the casserole dish.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and let it bubble vigorously. Add ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, the sugar, herbs and dried orange peel, then add the stock and saffron liquid, if using. Stir well, then transfer to the oven and cook for 2½–3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Check every 30 minutes or so and skim away any fat.
  5. When cooked, remove from the oven and lift out the beef ribs and vegetables. Simmer the braising liquid briskly over a high heat, skimming frequently, until reduced to a thicker sauce, then return the beef ribs and vegetables to the pan.
  6. When nearly ready to serve, squeeze the reserved oranges and simmer the juice in a small saucepan until reduced to a thick, intense syrup. Stir into the khoresht, then taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Sprinkle on the parsley and serve straight away.
Middle Eastern
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