Coffee braised beef short ribs

Serves 4-6

1.5 kg beef short ribs (bone in)
salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

200 mls red wine

100 gr ground coffee
500 mls vegetable or beef stock, as needed
3 eschalots/shallots or Tropea red onions, peeled and halved lengthways

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar, or to taste

It is best to begin this recipe the day before you need it.

If necessary, separate the beef into large chunks and trim of any fat, then rub all over with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan that has a lid and over high heat sear the beef on all sides to brown them well. Set aside. In the same pan, bring the wine to a simmer and add the coffee. Let the coffee steep for 5 minutes, then strain through a cheese cloth-lined, fine-meshed strainer and return the liquid back to the pot. Place the seared beef in the pan and if the liquid does not cover it, top up with stock. Add the eschalots or onions and bring to a simmer, covered with a lid. The beef will need to cook until very tender, depending on the size and quality of the meat this could take 2-3 hours. Check and turn the pieces of meat occasionally, and if necessary top up the liquid.

When the beef is tender, remove them, place in an air tight container until needed. Pour the liquid into a bowl or an air tight container and chill in the fridge for a 2-3 hours or overnight. What needs to happen here is the fat will rise to the top and become solid. Pull this out, discard it, and now you can conserve the liquid until needed.

When ready to serve, reheat the braising liquid in a pot, place the beef inside and bring to a gentle simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until warmed through completely. In a smaller pot, place about 250 ml of the braising liquid, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt or pepper as needed. Add balsamic vinegar and bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat to reduce it a little until slightly syrupy. Serve the beef on top of creamy mashed potatoes or polenta with this sauce drizzled over.

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