Friday, April 10, 2009

Spotting Dinner - Coffee Braised Bison Shortribs

I love shortribs. I've only ever had them at one restaurant - No. 9 Restaurant in Lambertville, New Jersey. Their shortribs are AMAZING. That's what I order every time I eat there. I did have equally amazing braised lamb shanks with polenta and vegetables there in the winter last year, but the shortribs weren't on the menu that night. Why do I get the same exact dish every time I go to that restaurant? Because it's probably one of the best tasting things I've ever put into my mouth! So when I was looking for dinner inspiration and searched for "shortribs" on TasteSpotting and foodwoolf's coffee braised bison shortribs came up - I was sold. I love shortribs, I love coffee, and bison is oh so yummy.

Photo from foodwoolf

Coffee Marinated Bison Short Ribs
via foodwoolf
Adapted from the February 2008 Bon Appetit issue

This is a start-the-day-before dish, that requires 6-8 hours of marinating. I suggest doing this before you go to bed or do it first thing you wake up the day you're going to make the short ribs.


* 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

Short Ribs:

* 1/4 cup chopped bacon (about 1 1/2 ounces)
* 2 cups chopped onions
* 1/2 cup chopped shallots
* 6 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 tbsp Siracha chili sauce
* 1 cup strong brewed coffee
* 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce


For marinade:

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 Siracha 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.

The recipe seems a bit complicated since there are different steps to it... It's well worth the effort though. I was once told that the shortribs at No. 9 Restaurant are watched over for 24 hours... As for the bison - bison is quickly becoming available at major grocery stores these days. You might be able to find it at a specialty butcher in your area... and if you can't you could substitue traditional beef shortribs for the bison ribs.

This dish served with your favorite mashed potato recipe and seasonal vegetables would be a great surprise for a special family dinner.

- Here's to bison and full bellies.
- Cait

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