I made these ribs and they were one of the best things to have ever graced my (and Drew's) palette. The only words spoken at dinner when I served these were "Oh my god, these are soooooo good!!" over and over again. Seriously, we didn't even do the "Hi honey, how was your day?" thing because we were stuck on "....these are sooooo good!!"
The recipe is easy but takes some time, however, this dish is well worth the wait!
Coffee-Braised Short Ribs
(inspired by Epicurious TV)
4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and ribs discarded
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 medium onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (or be lazy like I was and use two Knorr Chipotle cubes)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
6 lb beef short ribs
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup brewed coffee (I used 4 shots of espresso)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Soak ancho chiles in boiling-hot water until softened, about 20 minutes, then drain in a colander set over a bowl. Taste soaking liquid: It will be a little bitter, but if unpleasantly so, discard it; otherwise, reserve for braising.
Transfer ancho chiles to a blender and purée with onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Pat ribs dry and sprinkle with pepper and remaining teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until very hot but not smoking, then sear ribs in batches, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer as browned to a roasting pan just large enough to hold ribs in 1 layer.
Carefully add chile purée to fat remaining in skillet (careful--it will splatter and steam) and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Add reserved chile soaking liquid (or 1½ cups water) and coffee and bring to a boil, then pour over ribs (liquid should come about halfway up sides of meat).
Braise ribs in middle of oven until very tender, turning them occasionally, 3 to 3 ½ hours.