Chilli and Coffee Short Ribs

One of the things I’m particularly enjoying about my job at Mr Pickles’ Yorkshire Food Emporium is the meat counter. It’s stocked with pork, chicken, beef and lamb which means I’m getting to learn about different cuts and how to cook them – along with a few basic butchery skills. And, because I now understand the different cuts a bit more, and have easy access to them, I’m able to try and cook more at home.

And I was particularly pleased to come home with a couple of short ribs the other day. Located in the forequarter, the meat is very similar to the hindquarter flank, but with ribs in it! They’re rather large and very meaty too – each of my two ribs weighed over 800g!

Wanting to do something a bit different than a British style stew, I turned to Smoke & Spice by Valerie Aikman-Smith. It’s a book I’d swapped with someone a while back, but hadn’t really used – mostly because I didn’t really know where I could get some of the different cuts of meat from.

Anyway, a quick flick through the book and I fell for the coffee and chilli short ribs recipe. Mostly because I had a lot of the ingredients, but also coz it looked (and sounded) amazing…

The recipe kicked off with a rub of ground coffee, chilli powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and a bit of time to marinade in the fridge. 

Six hours later, I browned the ribs off in a large casserole dish, removed them and set about making the sauce. This is made up with onion, jalapenos, garlic, brewed coffee (I used some cold brew coffee for this – look out for a coffee blog post coming soon..!), tinned tomatoes & balsamic vinegar. Once the sauce was prepared and simmering away, I returned the ribs to the pot and stuck the dish (covered) in the oven (gas mark 4) for around three and half hours.

Chilli and Coffee Short Ribs


After half an hour resting time I served the meat (which was falling off the bone) with a rice salad of coriander, tomatoes and peppers.

As I tucked in I got a little chilli kick, but only a little. This dish seems to be all about the deep smokiness of the paprika and the earthiness of the coffee. And it was very good – so good that Gav and I ate in total silence…

I’m sure I’ll be cooking this, or variants of it in the future. It’d work perfectly in the slow cooker and I might try adding some red and green peppers next time – to boost my five a day and for a little sweetness.

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Care to share any short rib recipe ideas?
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