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Braised Beef Short Ribs in Coffee Ancho Chile Sauce

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In my mind this is a perfect winter dish, succulent Braised Beef Short Ribs cooked in a sauce made of coffee and ancho chiles.

Many people would say Alberta has the best beef in the world. You’ll have to try it yourself if you want to weigh in on the debate. I live here so I am just happy I can easily buy it, cook it, eat it and share this wonderful recipe with you.

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Slow Food – Beef Short Ribs

So when February rolls around I remember that I can buy beef short ribs and make this mouth-watering recipe. Beef short ribs are larger and meatier than the usual pork ribs and are perfect for braising. The process of braising is slow cooking meat covered in sauce over low heat for many hours. This method transforms tough cuts of meat into tender morsels.

This is slow food. This is Saturday afternoon slow food that will fill your house with the warmth and aroma of some of the best beef in the world. The anticipation of succulent, fork tender, fall-off-the-bone beef in a tasty sauce with strong coffee and pureed ancho chiles…now that is worth waiting for.

Ancho and Chipotle Chiles for Braised Beef Short Ribs

With over a thousand varieties of chiles there is lots of room for confusion. An ancho chile is a dried poblano chile. Dried chiles can be found online, in Latin American or Mexican specialty shops and even in some well stocked grocery stores. I think they aren’t too hard to find.

In this sauce the ancho chiles impart a rich, slightly smoky taste. The chipotle chiles add just the right amount of heat with a little more smoke. Combined with coffee, a little maple syrup…this recipe is worth making for anyone or even no one…but if you want to showcase Canadian beef this recipe will do a fabulous job of that.

This recipe is adapted from epicurious.com. I don’t make this recipe every winter but I think I should.

If you try these braised beef short ribs let me know in the comments below and tell me where your beef came from.

Ingredients

SAUCE
2 dried ancho chiles or New Mexico chiles
1½ cups boiling water
½ onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ Tbsp lime juice
½ tsp salt
RIBS
3 lb beef short ribs
salt and pepper
½ Tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup brewed coffee
reserved chile soaking liquid

Directions

1
SAUCE
2
Pour boiling water over ancho chiles. Let soak for 20 minutes until soft. Remove chile from water and pull stem away from the chile. Discard stem and seeds. Set chile aside.
3
Reserve soaking liquid for sauce.
4
In a blender or food processor purée ancho chiles, onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and salt. Set aside.
5
RIBS
6
Preheat oven to 350°F.
7
Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pan with high sides over medium-high heat. Brown ribs in batches, turning as needed. As you remove them place ribs into a large roasting pan in a single layer.
8
Pour purée chile mixture into the hot pan and cook over low heat stirring for 5 minutes.
9
Add reserved chile soaking liquid and coffee. Stir to combine and pour over ribs.
10
Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and cook in preheated oven for 3-3½ hours until the meat is fork tender.
11
Skim fat from pan juice if desired. Serve ribs with sauce.

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