Bon Appétit (February 2008)
We are absolute fanatics when it comes to short ribs. We started cooking them last winter after reading about them in Bill Buford's Heat, and they instantly became one of our favorite things to cook. With the right marinade, they're positively mouth-watering, and braising them for a few hours makes the meat literally fall off the bone.
Our go-to has been Dave Lieberman's Hoisin Beer Short Ribs, in part because his recipe eschews a marinade, making it relatively faster to make than some others.
But there were two reasons we wanted to try this recipe from Bon Appétit, and they're both in the title -- the coffee and the bison.
While on our epic quest for pork cheeks at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market, we happened upon Cibola Farms, a meat supplier from Virginia with an impressive array of buffalo products. Bon Appétit had arrived only days before, so we snatched up some short ribs and stashed them in our freezer until we we were ready to make this recipe.
The bottom line? The bison was fanastic! And marinating the ribs gave them a rich depth of flavor that makes this recipe definitely worth trying.
This is quite possibly the first time either of us has cooked with bison. But it will certainly not be the last. The beef short ribs we've come to love can sometimes turn out a little fatty. But this bison, which we picked up at our local farmers market, was thick and lean, with a slightly gamey taste that was absolutely delicious.
Soaking the ribs in the coffee marinade does add some significant time to this recipe -- at least four hours more. But the dark, rich smoky-sweet ribs were tremendous (although neither of us actually tasted coffee per se).
Were they worth the extra work? Yes! At least to try once.
And as for the bison, it was DEFINITELY something we'll cook with again.
Coffee-Marinated Bison Short Ribs
Bon Appétit (February 2008)
The coffee marinade is sweetened slightly with a little maple syrup, and the sauce gets a kick thanks to a jalapeño chile.
Servings: Makes 6 servings
4 cups water
3 cups chilled strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ice cubes
4 pounds bison (often labeled buffalo) short ribs, cut between ribs to separate
1/4 cup chopped bacon (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped shallots
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, chopped
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup chili sauce (such as Heinz) or ketchup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Stir 4 cups water, coffee, 1/2 cup coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add syrup and next 3 ingredients; stir until ice melts. Add ribs. Place plate atop ribs to keep submerged. Cover and chill 4 to 6 hours. Drain ribs; discard marinade. DO AHEAD: Drained ribs can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
For short ribs:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Sauté bacon in heavy large wide ovenproof pot over medium heat until beginning to brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate. Increase heat to medium-high. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook ribs until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer to large plate. Add onions, shallots, garlic, and jalapeño to pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add coffee and broth; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add chili sauce and all remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Add bacon and ribs, cover, and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is tender, about 2 hours 15 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm in 325°F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes, before continuing.
Transfer ribs to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over ribs.