People ask me all the time how I stay motivated to cook. I'll be honest, there are some days when I don't even want to step foot inside the kitchen. But for the most part, I wake up and am ready to fire up the stove and crank out several meals. Creating new recipes and trying out different cuisines is what keeps me on my toes and keeps the passion alive. For example, today's recipe is a Turkish pide with braised short ribs, a dish that was entirely new to me until several weeks ago. I saw a picture of a pide, became interested, and after some research, here we are. Here is my version with ajvar sauce, tender harissa spiced short ribs, crumbled feta, and Calabrian chilies.
Turkish Pide with Braised Short Ribs
- 3 lb short ribs
- 1 tablespoon harissa seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup warm water 100-110 degrees
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small eggplant
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta
- sliced Calabrian chilies
- cilantro for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Season the short ribs with 1 tablespoon harissa seasoning, salt, and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Sear the short ribs on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the short ribs to an oven-safe roasting pan and pour 1 cup chicken or beef stock into the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 2 ½ hours or until the beef easily shreds with a fork. Remove the short ribs from the oven and shred the meat. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, make the pide dough. Activate the yeast by combining it with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 cup warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine the yeast mixture with 2 ½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoon oil. Knead the dough until fairly smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
- Cut the eggplant in half and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Drizzle 2 tablespoon oil on the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet along with the bell pepper.
- Place the 3 garlic cloves on foil and drizzle 1 tablespoon on the garlic. Wrap up the foil to cover the cloves and place on the baking sheet with the other vegetables. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes or until the bell pepper is charred, the garlic is softened, and the eggplant flesh is cooked. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may need to roast for another 10-15 minutes before it is done.
- Place the bell pepper in a bowl and wrap it with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 10 minutes to steam. Remove the plastic wrap and peel off the bell pepper skin, discarding the stem and seeds.
- Scoop out the eggplant flesh and place in a blender. Blend the eggplant with bell pepper, roasted garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar. Season the ajvar sauce with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
- Punch down the dough. Divide it into 4 sections and roll each out into a 12x5 inch rectangle. Spread the ajvar sauce in the center, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the short ribs and sprinkle feta on top. Fold over the edges, pinching the two ends. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place the pide on a lined baking sheet. Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush the dough with the egg wash. Bake the pide in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is browned. Remove from the oven and top with sliced Calabrian chilies and fresh cilantro. Serve warm.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
What is a Turkish pide? Think of it as a flatbread topped with spinach and cheese or ground meat and cheese or even eggs. From what I read on the internet, it's a popular street food item that's fairly easy to prepare. Ready to give this a try?
I decided to swap out the ground meat for braised short ribs because, well, I love short ribs. And if I messed up on the dough, I knew that at least the short ribs would be good!
Season the short ribs with salt, pepper, and harissa seasoning and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Sear the short ribs until they are browned on all sides then braise them in the oven for about 2 ½ hours or until the meat falls apart easily. You can also prepare the meat in the instant pot by setting it to pressure cook for 1 hour. I like to make the short ribs the day before and let them sit in the juices and soak in all the flavor. Plus this saves a couple of hours on the day you make the Turkish pide.
While you're at it, you might as well make the ajvar sauce ahead of time too. Ajvar sauce is a Serbian sauce made from roasted red peppers and eggplant that I thought would go perfectly with the short ribs. It's actually very simple to prepare. Just roast the vegetables and blend it together with a splash of vinegar and olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper and let it cool.
Now let's concentrate on the pide dough. I tried a couple of pide recipes to grasp an idea of what it should taste like. I thought the dough was somewhat similar to pizza so I got my basic pizza dough, made some minor tweaks, and there you have it!
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into four equal portions. Now comes the fun part. Shape each portion into a rectangle about 12x5 inches in size. Spread the ajvar sauce, leaving a 1-inch border. Top the sauce with the braised short ribs and sprinkle crumbled feta on top. Fold up the edges, pinching the two ends to create an oblong shape with tapered edges.
Brush on the egg wash and bake the Turkish pide with braised short ribs until golden brown. Finish the savory bread with Calabrian chilies for some heat and fresh chopped cilantro.
Is this a traditional pide? Absolutely not, but I still loved every bite. I mean, how can you not? Golden crust filled to the brim with a savory roasted red pepper sauce and tender braised short ribs are sure to please anyone! And now on to discover another dish...
For more savory bread inspiration check out this fig and ricotta flatbread!