"I like this recipe as it uses lots of things that grow locally around the farm – beef, saffron, walnuts and tomatoes. It’s an intriguing mix of big, sour and tangy flavours." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (71 votes)


  • 500 g beef short ribs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) tomato passata
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek 
  • 2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes 
  • 55 g toasted walnuts, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • good pinch saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste (concentrate)
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) picked herbs such as basil, dill or coriander leaves, coarsely chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the beef ribs in a large stock pot or saucepan and cover them with cold water. Add the salt and bring to the boil over medium–high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let the ribs simmer happily for 2–3 hours or until the meat starts to fall off the bone. During cooking, skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.

Remove the ribs from the broth, discard the bones, then cut the meat into small pieces and return it to the broth over low heat.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion until soft and starting to colour, then add it to the broth. Add a little more oil to the frying pan, then repeat with the carrot and add to the broth.

Add the tomato passata, spices, dried mint, chilli, walnuts, saffron and soaking liquid to the broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir through the tamarind paste and taste for seasoning – the soup should have a good balance of sour and salty flavours. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the chopped herbs and serve.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Vanessa Austin. Food preparation by Alex Herbert.


For The Love of Meat with Matthew Evans starts Thursday 20 October at 7.30pm on SBS and then on SBS On Demand.  Visit the program page for show information, related articles and more recipes.