Afghan Beef Short Rib Tagliatelle (Aush)

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  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Ensure the short ribs are at room temperature and season generously with salt. Place a large casserole (big enough to fit all of your ribs in one layer) over medium heat, and, when hot, add the oil. Brown the ribs for 10-15 minutes, or until a rich golden brown on all sides. Don’t rush this bit - colour is flavour. Set aside and drain any excess oil from the pot (leaving 2 tbsp or so).
  3. To the residual oil, add the onions, peppers and cinnamon stick along with a small pinch of salt. Turn the vegetables through the pot to release the fond (the brown deliciousness on the base of the pot!). When the vegetables are translucent, lightly caramelised and collapsed, after 10 minutes or so, reduce the heat slightly and add the tomato puree and garlic. Fry until the puree turns a shade darker and you can smell the garlic. 
  4. Chuck in the ground spices and turn through the oil and vegetables. Once bloomed, pour in the chicken stock and nestle in the browned ribs, meat side-down. Top up with water to ensure the ribs are just submerged if necessary. Season lightly with salt and bring to a light simmer before popping on the lid and transferring to the oven to cook for 3-4 hours, or until the meat just falls from the bone.
  5. While your beef is cooking, crack on with your pasta (if making). Sift the flour onto a clean work surface and make a convincing well in the centre. Crack the 3 eggs into the centre and season with salt. Beat the eggs until they are smooth and homogenous, then begin to work in the flour. When you have an orange wallpaper paste, begin to work the remaining flour in more confidently. Once your dough is a shaggy, singular mass, begin to knead. Do so for 10-15 minutes, or until very smooth. Wrap tightly with cling film and transfer to the fridge for a couple of hours.
  6. An hour before your beef is ready, roll out your pasta dough to the thinnest setting and cut into just-wider-than tagliatelle strips with a sharp knife. Toss well in flour and lay out on a clean tea towel until you are ready to cook and assemble.
  7. After 3-3½ hours, remove the beef from the oven. Discard the loose bones and cinnamon stick and remove the meat for shredding. Add the chickpeas to the sauce and loosen with a little water if it’s looking too dry. Continue cooking on the stove for a further 20 minutes.
  8. In a saute pan over a low flame, melt the butter with the turmeric powder and pul biber. Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water for 3 minutes then transfer to the spiced butter (with a little pasta water to loosen). Lift the spiced, buttered tagliatelle to a large serving dish and top with the shredded short rib. Ladle over plenty of sauce. Garnish with lashings of soured cream, plenty of fresh mint, pine nuts and flecks of pul biber. Place in the middle of the table and allow everyone to serve themselves, encouraging them to add further garnish and the green chilli to their individual portions.