Marry them with smoked chipotle peppers, coffee, and chocolate, and you've got a meal fit for the most romantic of dinners.
I've been making (and adapting this recipe) for about three years now, and I have to say that this latest adaptation has certainly blown the previous incarnations away. If you're curious about the original recipe, before I started making changes, it can be found here.
I like to serve this recipe over rice or mashed potatoes, or use it as the filling for soft tacos.
You'll need the following ingredients:
Olive oil or lard, about 4-5 Tbsp
5 lbs of beef short ribs
Salt and Pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 smoked dried chipotle pepper, crumbled (or one chili from a can of chilies in adobo sauce, minced)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 cups strong coffee
1.5 cups chopped tomatoes, with juice (or one 28 oz can)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chocolate, dark or bittersweet (70% or higher cacao)
1/2 cup espresso or chocolate stout, or 1 shot espresso or hazelnut liquor (optional)
Step 1: Salt and Pepper the Short Ribs
Wash and pat the short ribs dry with a paper towel. Then salt and pepper them liberally. Use more salt than you think you need. Then add a pinch or two more.
Step 2: Chop a Red Bell Pepper, a Large Onion, and Mince a Smoked Chipotle Pepper
Step 3: Mince Two Cloves of Garlic and Assemble Your Spices
Step 4: Measure Out the Coffee, Tomato Paste, and Tomatoes
*Hazelnuts, coffee, and chocolate are a fabulous combination. We used a shot of hazelnut coffee liquor, but a good espresso stout or even a chocolate stout would give the dish a little extra depth.
*We used a jar of our home canned tomatoes, but any good brand of crushed or chopped canned tomatoes would work.
Step 5: Brown Your Short Ribs
Now that all of your ingredients are in place, heat a cast iron pan over high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil or lard to the pan and bring it to temperature.
Place the short ribs two or three at a time into the pan. Make sure you're leaving plenty of space between the short ribs, even if that means you have to cook them in several batches. If you crowd them into the pan, you'll steam them instead of sear them.
Brown them on all sides, until they are very nearly burnt.
Step 6: Transfer the Short Ribs to a Plate and Set Aside
Set the cast iron pan aside.
Heat a large Dutch Oven (large enough for the short ribs and all of the liquid ingredients) over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of lard or oil and the pan drippings from the cast iron pan.
Step 7: Saute the Onion and Peppers Over Medium Heat Until Translucent
Step 8: Add the Garlic
Step 9: Mix in the Spices
Step 10: Add the Coffee, Tomato Paste, Chopped Tomatoes, and Beer and Bring to a Boil
Step 11: Transfer the Short Ribs to the Pan and Braise
Step 12: Mix in the Chocolate
Step 13: Serve the Short Ribs With a Generous Serving of Sauce
If the ribs held together, just set one rib in each dish (perhaps over the rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta, or mashed potatoes) and spoon a generous serving of sauce over and around it. Enjoy!