Sunday Supper: Short Ribs With Coffee & Chilies

4 04 2011

Winter can tend to drag on in Seattle. Just when you think you’ve seen light at the end of the dark and rainy tunnel, another “system” drops by and hangs out. Awesome, if you love spring skiing (2 feet of snow in the cascades tonight/tomorrow). Not, if you are a city dweller with a rambunctious child (2-4 inches of rain/wind/cold in the city).

It makes me still crave the warm food that braises for half the day making your house all smelly of goodness and warm. I’ve made these a few times this winter and am leaving this recipe in my “go to” list. It’s very simple, requires very little interaction and makes your house smell like a little dose of chili heaven.

Delightfully borrowed from the New York Times:

Short Ribs With Coffee and Chilies

1 tablespoon oil
4 large or 8 small short ribs
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 dried pasilla chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 dried chipotle chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup strong coffee

1. In a heavy pot that can later be covered, drizzle oil. Over medium heat, brown ribs well, adjusting heat as necessary to get a dark crust. Take your time, and season with salt and pepper as they cook. Remove them to a plate and turn heat to low.

2. In same pot, cook onions, garlic and chilies, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 15 minutes. Add wine and coffee and reduce over high heat by about half. Return ribs to pot, cover, and cook over low heat (or in a 300-degree oven) for 2 to 3 hours. Cook until very tender — beyond when meat falls off the bone — turning every hour or so. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.

Yield: 4 to 8 servings.

Notes: two of my favorite friends and I just had a riveting email conversation about how to track down less fatty short ribs. They’re super tasty, but sometimes it’s hard to enjoy when you bite into big globs of fat. I ask my butcher to trim them for me. With that request, he’ll usually look for the trimmest ribs to start. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a fatty cut, but well worth it if you eat it in moderation!

I’ve tried cooking them in the oven and on the stovetop. When cooking in the oven, I found I needed to add liquid (I used beef broth) to the pot to keep them going longer than 2 hours – it might mean my oven runs hot. When I’ve cooked on the stovetop, I did not have to add liquid and could keep the ribs at a nice simmer for 4-5 hours. Beyond fork tender.

Lastly, the peppers won’t make them spicy if you seed them. The chiles really just add flavor. Scott wants me to make them spicy next time!

No pictures of this ditty. You wouldn’t want to make it if you saw them. I cannot make them pretty. They just taste darn good.

Enjoy!

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