and coffee

add a subtle

and intriguing

 twist to this


short rib



CookLocal.com's Chocolate &  Coffee Braised Short Ribs

Thanks to Patricia & John for their permission to reprint this savory chocolate recipe on our site.  Their adaptation of short ribs from the Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook results in a flavorful fall standard with a twist.  Chocolate and coffee are the secret ingredients which add depth and richness to this dish.


Olive oil

4 to 5 lbs beef short ribs

Salt and pepper (see coffee rub for additional flavor)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped  -  ( Note: I substituted chili en adobo to taste for the jalapeno)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

2 cups strong coffee

1.5 cups chopped tomatoes, with juice or (1) 28 oz can

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 cup high quality dark chocolate with 70% or higher cacao 

My choice for chocolate was one bar of Chuao's Todasana 74% cacao (minus two squares that I couldn't help sneaking as I cooked).

Coffee Rub by Fred Thompson for Bon Appetit Magazine July 2009 issue:

1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee granules

2 tsp golden brown sugar

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

This will make enough to store for other recipes.



Rinse short ribs and pat them dry.  Season meat liberally with salt and pepper or try the coffee rub for additional flavor.  I left the coffee rub on for 2 hours before proceeding with the recipe.

When you are ready to cook, chop the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno or chipotle chilis.

Heat olive oil and brown a few short ribs well on all sides.  Transfer to a plate as you continue browning the rest of the ribs.

Reduce the heat to medium and add more olive oil then onion, bell & jalapeno pepper and cook 5-10 minutes until onions are translucent.  Mix in the garlic and cook for another minute.  If you are using the chipotle en adobo as a substitute for jalapeno put that in the sauce last and carefully add "to taste".

Stir brown sugar, chili powder, oregano and cumin into the vegetable mixture and cook for 5 minutes longer.  Add coffee, chopped tomatoes, and tomato paste and bring the whole mixture to a boil.

Cover the ribs with mixture and braise in 325 degree oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until meat is tender.  Just before serving mix in chocolate until melted.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Note:  I cooked my ribs in a crock pot on high for 2.5 hours because they were unusually meaty ribs.  I also stirred the chocolate into the tomato sauce before braising, making sure that it was well integrated before adding the sauce to my ribs.  

Additional note:  This recipe makes plenty of sauce.  Strain off the fat  before serving to ensure a thicker and more visually presentable sauce.