Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Coffee & Chile Braised Short Ribs

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Ribs. I'm not talking about the kind slapped with bbq sauce that are finger licking good. I'm talking about the more refined sibling - English short ribs. These are probably my favorite beef cut (next to ribeyes) because of the amount of flavor they have. They may take hours on end to prepare but it's definitely worth it for that succulent bite. I came across an interesting combination of ingredients in a short rib recipe. Needless to say, these Coffee & Chile Braised Short Ribs were amazing. Who knew coffee and chile would work so well together?...

I could kiss my crockpot/slow cooker. Thanks to it, these ribs came out perfectly tender with very little effort on my part. You could prepare this in a dutch oven (click on the Epicurious link below for the original recipe using a dutch oven) but adapting the recipe for a slow cooker was more my style. I especially liked that I saved a bit of energy plugging in instead of gassing up my oven.

I prepared the recipe with a few substitutions and measurement adjustments to suit my tastes but overall this comes together very quickly. Don't let the list of ingredients fool you! Half of the ingredients are whizzed in a blender to create a chile sauce while the ribs are browned before placing in the crockpot. The chile sauce and brewed coffee are poured over the ribs and then you walk away. Hours later, dinner is on the table and a delicious one at that! I served this over garlic mashed Yukon potatoes, and roasted carrots and asparagus.


Coffee & Chile Braised Short Ribs
recipe adapted from Epicurious

4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and ribs discarded
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
juice of 1 lime
3 teaspoons salt, divided
6 lb beef English short ribs
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup brewed coffee


Soak ancho chiles in boiling-hot water until softened, about 20 minutes, then drain in a colander set over a bowl. Transfer ancho chiles to a blender and purée with onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt; set aside.

Pat ribs dry and sprinkle with pepper, garlic powder and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown ribs in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer browned ribs to a crockpot.

Pour the coffee and pureed chile mixture over the ribs in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 8-10 hours or until tender.

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