When the weather closes in and you've got company coming for dinner, nothing works better than a simple braised meat dinner. You prep it several hours ahead and pop it in the oven, leaving plenty of time for vacuuming up pet hair, making some nice appetizers and maybe even taking a bath with your favorite aperitif nearby. So you're relaxed when your guests arrive, natch'.
And when they do arrive, the whole house has that complex, rich aroma that promises something fantastic for dinner. The dinner I made last weekend did just that, and with some mashers and a salad with candied walnuts and vinaigrette, it was a hit.
Again, we have Mr. Bittman to thank for this recipe. I doubled it for five people and had great leftovers to mix with pasta a couple of nights later. Dave put together a video of the prep so you can see how simple it is. Next time I'll try to dress up a little more!
Short Ribs With Coffee and Chilies
1 Tbsp. oil
4 large or 8 small short ribs
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 dried pasilla chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 dried chipotle chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 c. dry red wine
1 c. strong coffee.
In a heavy pot that can later be covered, drizzle oil [I used a separate pan to brown and saute - KAB]. Over medium heat, brown ribs well, adjusting heat as necessary to get a dark crust. Take your time, and season with salt and pepper as they cook. Remove them to a plate and turn heat to low.
In same pot, cook onions, garlic and chilies, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 15 minutes. Add wine and coffee and reduce over high heat by about half. Return ribs to pot, cover, and cook over low heat (or in a 300-degree oven) for 2 to 3 hours. Cook until very tender — beyond when meat falls off the bone — turning every hour or so. [I would skim some of the fat off the surface before serving - KAB] Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings.