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A Great Beef Ribs Recipe From Gourmet Holiday Edition

Beef Ribs

I know, it’s early for some of you to be thinking of the Holidays; bear with me…

Turkey is the standard for Thanksgiving, with ham a solid second place. But what if you want something different? Something with a little zing to it? Well, have we got a deal for you!

Actually, it’s Gourmet Magazine who has the deal. In their recently-released Holiday Special Edition. (I snagged mine at Central Market over the weekend.) It didn’t take me long to find this recipe…

Braised Chile-Spiced Short Ribs with Black Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 3-4 medium dried ancho chiles
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotles (in adobo), plus a tablespoon of the adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 10 cups water (and a bit more), divided
  • salt
  • 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ pound sliced bacon, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3” long
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • Chopped red onion, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Quick-soak the black beans by placing them in a 5-quart heavy pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. bring to a boil, boil for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for an hour.

Ancho

Meanwhile, make the ancho chile purée: Wipe the chiles, then pull out the stems and seeds. Reach in, remove the ribs (if you like), then tear the chiles into pieces. Soak in the boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Transfer chile pieces to a blender, reserving the soak liquid. Add onion, garlic, chipotles and sauce, tomato paste, molasses, cumin seeds, cloves, a third cup of water and a teaspoon of salt to blender; purée.

Pat the ribs dry, then season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy, oven-proof, 8-quart pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown ribs in small batches on all sides; transfer to a holding plate. Discard oil in pot at the end.

Heat the oven to 350° F; put rack to the middle position. Brown the bacon in the 8-quart pot, then remove bacon with slotted spoon and discard. Just kidding! Add the cooked bacon to the ribs. Carefully stir the ancho chile purée into the fat in the pot; it may spatter! Cook the sauce for about 6 minutes with frequent stirring. Add the reserved chile-soak liquid and two cups of water. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Add ribs and bacon back to the pot and braise, covered, in the oven until the ribs are very tender. Cooking time will be about 3 hours, maybe a bit more.

While the ribs are braising, cook the beans: Drain them after they’ve soaked, then return to the soak-pot and add 8 cups fresh water. Add the bay leaf and a half teaspoon of salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the beans.

To serve, transfer ribs to a decorative plate and garnish. Serve with small soup bowls of beans on the side.

These items can be made up to three days ahead, so that Thanksgiving isn’t so hectic. Cover and refrigerate the ribs in their sauce, after removing excess grease. Refrigerate the beans in their liquid. Reheat the ribs in the oven, and the beans on the range.

This looks so scrumptious I’m going to try it long before Turkey Day. I may use a bit more chipotle than the recipe calls for as well. And the beans? Well, I’m not likely to leave them alone either…

Enjoy the (Who Needs Turkey) Heat!

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