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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's just so weird...shortribs

Sometimes I come across a recipe that is just so whacky that I have to drop everything and try it. It took me over a year to futz with it and after some tweaking I finally got it to do what I wanted. This was given to me by one of my favorite customers. I call him Da Big D but his real name is Dave and is a sweetheart of a guy. I look forward to his visits. He's good for a food/wine chat anytime. Thanks buddy.
There I was, standing on the floor with this strange formula. It resembles Boef au Carbone but only sorta. It has some traces of the American Southwest but not really. What the heck. It uses some Great Depression era elements and then it doesn't. Sounds like big stupid fun right? Sh'yeaaahhh. I'm a chef, I got this. I have no idea what to call this except...

Chef Nick's Weird Braised Short-ribs.

Mise en place

4 1/2 # short-ribs, trimmed. Separated and seasoned.
about two slices of good bacon chopped
1 large onion, large dice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
handful of button mushrooms, large slices
3 dried ancho chilies, toasted and soaked then minced
2 cups fresh brewed coffee (see? I told you it got weird)
half bottle dry red wine
handful of fresh cilantro chopped
handful of fresh parsley chopped
salt and pepper *note. If you aren't using anything but Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper then you are beyond my help.
One large pot.

OK in my last post I talked about toasting and soaking dried chillies. Use a dry saute pan. Seed and de-stem the peppers. Heat up your pan. Toast up your chillies and put them into hot water. Let them soak until soft about 15-20 minutes.

In the pot put in those bacon pieces and crank up the heat. Turn over to crisp and remove to a separate plate. Mmmmm bacon fat. Perfect medium for our next step.

Sear those ribs. Only a few at a time. Deep golden brown is what we want. If the pot becomes dry add some olive oil, no worries. Remove to a separate plate.

Work your way through all the ribs. Once done add your onions, garlic, mushrooms and minced chillies with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sweat through and add your cilantro and parsley.

Toss through and add the coffee.

Scrape the bottom of the pan. then add the red wine.

Nestle the ribs back into the pot. Add bacon pieces and bring to simmer. Place into a 350 degree oven covered for 90 minutes or so. Test for doneness by stabbing those bad boys with a fork. If they surrender like the french, they are done.
I served this with some salt boiled potato and broccoli in brown butter with sage. Thanks Tamara. Her blog site is WE ARE THE MIGHTY RAMS !!!


  1. did anyone notice the Haunted Mansion coffee mug? yep I'm still a freak for the happiest place on earth

  2. see we were bff's in a past life! when i was 7 years old i was on the haunted mansion ride and when the ride was over i began to cry because i wanted to live in the mansion.

    ps again this looks yummy!

  3. you can't live in the mansion, I called it first

  4. You can have the dusty old mansion, I call Cinderellas castle!!!

  5. you got it !! can the rest of us come visit???