Coffee-Braised Short Ribs with Roasted Parsnip Purée and Fried Leeks

Nothing Says I Love You Like Coffee-Braised Short Ribs

by Dara Schwartz on February 7, 2013

Melt-in-your-mouth short ribs sure to win over your loved one.
Fork tender meat, that falls right off the bone and melts in your mouth is one form of sultry in this household. And married with my two favorite flavor players, coffee and chocolate, gets me weak in the knees every time. Marinated in cold-brewed coffee—which was steeped for 24 hours, proudly extracting the exact purities and depth of flavor from the bean’s origin—and combined with a dry full-bodied red wine is just the beginning to this Valentine’s Day indulgence. This braise is built upon layers of flavor from the smokey heat of ancho chile and spiciness of jalapeno, with a final finish of semi-sweet dark chocolate making a velvety, decadent sauce. Paired with a sweet roasted parsnip purée and brightly decorated with a roasted grape gremolata is the perfect balance to this rich centerpiece.

Keep those taste buds dancing,

Coffee-Braised Short Ribs with Roasted Parsnip Purée, Grape Gremolata and Fried Leeks
Serves 4

Short Ribs
3 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
2 cups cold-brewed coffee
2 cups cabernet sauvignon
2 cups beef or veal stock
1 onion diced
2 shallots thinly sliced
1 carrot diced
1 -2 jalapenos minced with seeds and ribs (depending on your heat tolerance)
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1.5 ounces of semi-sweet dark chocolate
Olive oil

Cold-brewed coffee
1/2 pound coarsely ground coffee (ground between percolator and french press)
6 cups of water

Parsnip Purée
5 parsnips, cubed
2 cups heavy cream
1 garlic clove minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Grape Gremolata
1/2 pound red grapes, stemmed
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Fried Leeks
1 large leek
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup flour

For the Cold-Brewed Coffee
1. Place coffee grounds in a cheese cloth and tie together tightly with kitchen twine. In a pitcher or sealed container, pour water over coffee grounds and steep for 24 hours in refrigerator.

2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.

3. Reserve for the short rib marinade. You will have extra coffee, so enjoy some iced coffee. Coffee will last for two weeks.

For the Short Ribs
1. Marinate the short ribs in wine and coffee for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

3. Remove the ribs from the marinade and pat dry (save the marinade for the braise.) Season generously with kosher salt. *Optional: Lightly coat short ribs in flour before searing to give it a nice crust.

4. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil to high and sear the ribs on all 6 sides to form a nice caramelized crust. *You want your pan smoking hot*

5. Remove the ribs from the pot, pour off the spent oil and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion, shallots, carrots and jalapenos and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

6. Add the brown sugar and spices and saute for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and add the coffee/wine marinade and stock.

7. Add the ribs back into the pot and bring the braise to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and place on the lower shelf of the oven

8. Cook the short ribs for 2.5 to 3 hours. You want the ribs to be fork tender.

9. When they are ready, gently remove them and place into an oven-proof container. Strain the braise and discard the solids. Skim the fat off the top layer of the braise.

10. Pour braise into a skillet and bring to a light simmer. Whisk in chocolate and reduce to about half, yielding a thick sauce. You can directly plate from here, or store away combined with ribs in a sealed container or dutch oven.

Special notes: 1. Do not season this braise until after you have reduced it and tasted it. This sauce is rich and salty from the stock and the fat from the ribs. 2. After straining the sauce in step 9, you can place the sauce in a container and refrigerate. The fat will solidify at the top and can be easily scraped off. You can then return the sauce with the short ribs.

For the Parsnip Purée
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, toss parsnips with olive oil and salt and pepper and place on sheet pan.

3. Roast parsnips for 20 minutes until tender.

4. In a sauce pan, bring cream, water and garlic to a simmer.

5. Transfer parsnips to a food processor and slowly add in liquid until a smooth consistency.

For the Grape Gremolata
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the grapes on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast the grapes until they are shriveled, about 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

2. Toss the grapes with the cilantro, zest and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent browning.

For the Fried Leeks
1. To prepare the leeks, cut the white and pale green part off the stem. Cut in half lengthwise and clean thoroughly. Julienne the leeks lengthwise.

2. Heat oil in a pot between 300 and 320 degrees F. Toss leeks in flour and fry in the oil for about one minute until they turn golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

Special note: Fried leeks can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Plan of Attack
Day 1: Prep – Make cold-brew coffee and steep for 24 hours.
Day 2: Prep – Marinate ribs in coffee and wine for at least four hours or overnight.
Day 3: Prep – Make short ribs, gremolata and fried leeks
Day 4: Dining day – Bring gremolata up to room temperature. Make parsnip purée and heat sauce and short ribs in oven. Serve!

To Plate
Ladle a small portion of sauce on center of plate. Spoon parsnip purée over top of sauce. Place short rib(s) on top of the purée. Spoon grape gremolata over short ribs and purée. Top short ribs with fried leeks. Serve and enjoy!

Sharpen Those Skills: Bring meat to room temperature before cooking, about 30 minutes. This will help achieve your desired cooking temperature and for even-cooking distribution.

Gluten-Free: Sear ribs without the coating of the flour. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro to replace the fried leeks. As an alternative to all-purpose flour, you can coat leeks and the ribs with a chick pea flour, which is gluten free.

Wine Pairing: Laya 2011, Spanish red wine. A medium-bodied dry red wine with hints of black fruits, peppery spice, espresso and licorice. Available at Barrel and Bottle at the North Market.

Chef’s Playlist: Sidney Bechet, Si tu vois ma mére

Columbus, Ohio Resources: I sourced the short ribs from Bluescreek Farm Meats, located inside the the North Market. For the coffee, I used Baba Budan blend from Staufs Coffee Roasters.

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