Chefs' Recipes

Saba Alemayoh’s derek tibs (Ethiopian beef short ribs with capsicum)

Ribs, slowly braised with berbere spice, with the gentle sweetness of capsicums – there's nothing better.
Ben Dearnley
as part of a shared meal
2H 30M
2H 50M

“Ethiopians are serious about their meat,” says Alemayoh of Saba’s Ethiopian in Melbourne. “This comes from the fact that many go vegan for a great part the year for religious practice. There are restaurants that specialise in making this dish and nothing else.”



1.Heat oil in a deep saucepan over high heat, then add beef and turn occasionally for the fat to render and beef to brown (5-7 minutes). Reserve beef fat, then add rosemary and berbere to pan, season with salt and stir to combine. Return beef to the pan, add ½ cup water, then cover and simmer very gently over low heat (2-2½ hours).
2.Meanwhile, combine beef fat with enough oil to make up to 2 tbsp and place over medium heat in a separate saucepan. Add onion, capsicum and chilli and stir over high heat until softened slightly (3-4 minutes). Add meat and cooking juices, cook until juices are reduced to a sauce (4-6 minutes). Serve scattered with chilli (optional).

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mix. It’s available from specialist spice shops, or online from


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