To me it somehow seems wrong to buy groceries at the drug store. I’ve lived in PDX for over 2 years and still haven’t wrapped my brain around the fact that you can buy wine at Target. And I still refuse to buy wine at Target as a matter of principal. But grocery shopping in a drug store just seems extra wrong. But there I was. At Rite Aid hoping there were tinned chipotle peppers on the shelf.
I rarely, if ever heed my own very pragmatic instructions when it comes to cooking. Such as…Read through the entire recipe before you start cooking. Otherwise you may end up at the end of the recipe everything all set to go and find out that you should have hammered the crap out of the steak or marinated it in your basement for 72 hours to give it that aged kind of flavor. Also, reading the entire recipe prevents you from getting to ingredient number 7 (like chipotle peppers) and realizing that you do not have this very important component in your pantry. Sometimes you can fake an ingredient. Or do without. Not true when it comes to the spicy, smokey chipotle. The recipe is nothing without it.
So there I was, marinade making phase of my ridiculously good recipe for Ancho and Coffee Braised Short Ribs, and discovered that I did not have chipotle peppers in the fridge.
So why not just run down to the local grocery and pick up a tin or two. Because I’m so darn lazy that I wasn’t willing to drive an extra two blocks to Winco where I knew without question there were boatloads of tinned chipotle peppers. Rite Aid is right on the corner and in my mind of course they should have chipotle peppers. The sell wine and other such things. So why not chipotle peppers?
Luckily the stars were aligned and Rite Aid saved the day by having the one ingredient I didn’t have in the house. I think that if Rite Aid didn’t have chipotle peppers next to the mascara aisle we would have had something completely different for dinner.
Yes, this recipe has quite a few ingredients and soaking, whirring and braising is involved. It is totally worth it! Once you’re done with the initial prep work, the pot just sits in the oven for 3 or so hours while you catch up on Downton Abbey or Revenge.
Serve with polenta (use the recipe on the Bob Mills bag for polenta) and a lovely salad. This will become a dish you crave.
Ancho and Coffee Braised Short Ribs
- 4 Ancho Chilies, Dried (you can find these anywhere. well maybe not at Rite Aid)
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves (I always use more. More garlic. More goodness.)
- 2 tablespoons Chipotles in Adobo (now you know you can buy a tin of these at Rite Aid.)
- 1/2-1cup Maple Syrup (use proper maple syrup. not the kind that is shaped like Aunt Jemima. that would be gross.)
- 5 Limes, Juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Coffee, brewed
- Olive Oil As Needed
- 6 Bone-in Beef Short Ribs (the meatier, the better)
- 1 cup Red Wine (I love that it only calls for one cup of wine leaving the rest for me to enjoy. I mean share with Mr. Moose)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Soak the ancho chilies in boiling-hot water, about 20 minutes. Once the chilies are pliable, remove the stem and seeds and discard the soaking liquid.
- Blend the onion, garlic, chipotles, maple syrup, limejuice, salt and anchos together in a food processor. Stir in the coffee. Adjust seasonings if needed. (it seems like a really weird combo of ingredients, but it totally works)
- 4. Heat oil in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Season the ribs with salt and dust them liberally with brown sugar.
- 5. Sear the ribs in the oil until a crust has formed, turning to cook evenly on all sides. Remove ribs and set aside.
- 6. Pour the ancho puree into the same pan used to sear the ribs. Add a cup of red wine if desired. (and who wouldn’t desire it?) Bring the puree to a boil.
- 7. Return the ribs to the pan and nestle (seriously? it’s not like you’re tucking them into sleep) them into the sauce so that they are mostly covered.
- 8. Cover the pot with a lit or tinfoil and place in the oven for 3-3 ½ hours. (your kitchen will smell amazing!)
- When the ribs are done, the meat will be falling off the bone and the marinade will have become this incredibly addictive sauce.
- Make sure to taste the sauce before and after the ribs are done to adjust the seasonings. The anchos can give off a bitter flavor, which is easily balanced with more maple syrup or limejuice.
Enjoy! Until next time…Moose out
Recipe and image courtesy of the fabulous, wildly talented crew at food52