Short Ribs Braised in Coffee Ancho Chile Sauce

Total Time
4hrs 10mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 3 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Soak ancho chiles in boiling-hot water until softened, about 20 minutes, then drain in a colander set over a bowl.
  3. Taste soaking liquid: It will be a little bitter, but if unpleasantly so, discard it; otherwise, reserve for braising.
  4. Transfer ancho chiles to a blender and purée with onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt.
  5. Pat ribs dry and sprinkle with pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons salt.
  6. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown ribs in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch.
  7. Transfer as browned to a roasting pan just large enough to hold ribs in 1 layer.
  8. Carefully add chile purée to fat remaining in skillet (use caution, since it will splatter and steam) and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  9. Add reserved chile soaking liquid (or 1 1/2 cups water) and coffee and bring to a boil, then pour over ribs (liquid should come about halfway up sides of meat).
  10. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and braise ribs in middle of oven until very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  11. Skim fat from pan juices and serve with ribs.
  12. Cooks' note: Ribs improve in flavor if braised 2 days ahead.
  13. Cool, uncovered, then chill, surface covered with parchment paper or wax paper and roasting pan covered with foil.
  14. Remove any solidified fat before reheating.
Most Helpful

5 5

I'm giving this 5 stars because DH went nuts over this dish. I thought it OK but it didn't "wow" me. I substituted a 14 ounce can of beef broth for the "ancho chili soaking water" (at the price of beef ribs I wasn't about to take a chance that the water would be bitter). The second time I made this dish I also added some country style boneless ribs which is simply chuck roast cut in 1" wide strips. I brown the ribs very well in order to try and cook out as much fat as possible then drain off all extra fat. I also like to refrigerate the whole pot and then skim off as much congealed fat as possible. The way DH likes this I'm sure it will be a regular in our house.

3 5

Paula, We thought this recipe was missing something. We've had this dish at Cafe Annie's in Houston where the Chef makes it with Filet, Yum! I also have made Mark Bittman's similar recipe with short ribs. Your recipe is missing something and that could be either beer or wine and a cup or so of a rich stock. Interesting and fun recipe to play around with, thanks for posting.

4 5