Ancho and Coffee Short Ribs, on Quinoa Pilaf

Ancho and coffee short ribs w quinoa
Back in January 2003, Gourmet Magazine wrote up a recipe for short ribs braised in coffee and ancho chile sauce. I put it aside to make. I can’t believe it has taken me over FIVE FRIKKEN YEARS, but there it is. Somehow, I can’t come with any creative excuses. It was good though! As usual I didn’t follow it exactly, so here is my attempted description of our meal:

Ancho and Coffee Short Ribs

4 lb short ribs
3 dried ancho chile chiles
1 dried chipotle chile
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons molasses (or maple syrup)
1/2 cup coffee
smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Bring a pot of water to medium boil and boil your ancho and chipotle peppers for 20 minutes, then drain. Taste the liquid – if it is not too bitter, save.

In a blender, combine the ancho and chipotle chiles, the garlic, onion, molasses, and 1 tsp of salt and puree. Gourmet also recommends adding a tbsp of lime juice (I didn’t have any limes when making this, but the concept sounds good).

In a heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven, heat up some olive oil on medium high heat and brown the short ribs in batches, then set aside.

Pour the puree into the dutch oven and cook on the stovetop for several minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of either the chile boiling water or regular water, and the 1/2 cup of coffee. Then add in the short ribs and spoon the sauce over the ribs so coated. Cover the dutch oven and put in the oven for 3 hours, occasionally checking to turn the ribs and spoon more sauce over them.

In our case, we made the short ribs in advance one evening and placed in the fridge for a couple of days, rather than wait hungry for them to finish. We then placed the ribs and braising sauce in a saute pan and warmed back up on very low heat until bubbling, tasting for salt and adding a sprinkling of smoked paprika.

Before you serve, spoon out any excess grease/oil, then remove the bones, tendon and any excess fat. Serve on a bed of quinoa pilaf, with a hefty red wine (a cab sav, zin, shiraz, malbec, or solid chateauneuf de pape would all work nicely). While I didn’t use a garnish, I imagine that some chopped parsley or finely chopped jalapenos might be a nice addition.

Quinoa Pilaf
Gourmet recommends serving this dish on a bed of polenta, but I decided to use my Rancho Gordo quinoa. Having never made quinoa, I checked my Bittman How to Cook Everything and discovered a nice little “quinoa pilaf” recipe. It is very simple and delicious and I will definitely be making quinoa more in future:

1 cup quinoa (repeatedly washed)
1 3/4 cup water (or stock)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
olive oil

In a saute pan, heat up some olive oil and saute the onions for several minutes on medium heat, then add the quinoa and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the water (or stock), a few grindings of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 mintues. Taste for salt.

3 thoughts on “Ancho and Coffee Short Ribs, on Quinoa Pilaf”

  1. wait, just noticed your comment, giff. i really liked the picture. everyone is their own worst critic, though.

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