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

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.

Luby Luby Luby April 28, 2009

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.

Trinkets July 11, 2008