by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Coffee-Molasses Braised Short Ribs with Root Puree

ribs3Braising meat is nearly foolproof and you end up with a succulent gourmet meal. Short ribs, like so many other grainy meats, were once the cheap cuts but have now become more popular as slow-cooking and braising have caught on. Slow cooking meat with the inside of the bone exposed allows much needed minerals to leach out into the braising liquid. The addition of parsnips and beef stock add a little extra earthy flavor to the mashers.  This is a favorite meal of mine to serve to guests.

Coffee-Mollasses Braised Short Ribs with Root Puree

2-3 lbs beef shortribs

3 cups beef stock

1 cup brewed coffee

½ cup minced onion

2 Tbsp butter

2-3 Tbsp molasses


1 Tbsp Butter

2 Parsnips

3 Yukon gold potatoes


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300 degrees. Turn stovetop burner to med-high. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to large stock pot or dutch oven. Trim any excess grissly-fat from top layer of ribs then season well with salt. Sear ribs on three meaty sides allowing enough time for browning on each, shake pot to ensure they don’t stick. Remove and set aside. A large pot can acommodate about up to 6 ribs at once so it may be necessary to cook in batches as to not overcrowd the pot.

Lower heat to med, add minced onion, cook for about a minute before reducing heat to low for an additional 5 minutes, stirring. Add ribs back to pot bone side down, add 2-3 cups stock and bring to a simmer. Liquid should rise no more than half way up ribs. Place covered stockpot in oven for 3 hours, flipping ribs upside down after 1st hour. A tight fitting lid should retain the liquid but check when removing lid each time to make sure it does not dissipate.

After 2nd hour turn back meat side up and drizzle with molasses, then return to oven. You could measure the molasses out but it’s easier to guestimate and just drizzle it directly on ribs. After 3 hours remove pot from oven. The ribs don’t necessarily need any sauce but it doesn’t hurt to retrieve some to drizzle over everything. To do this, using a baster, remove top layer of fat from rib sauce. Let ribs sit in pot for up to an hour while making parsnip puree.

Peel parsnips and slice from tip to tail, and then again into smaller chunks. Peel potatoes and chop into cubes. Add one Tbsp butter to a pot and bring heat to med-high. Add parsnips and cook for about 10 minutes. You want them to get nice and brown but don’t overcook so adjust temp accordingly.

Add potatoes to pot and, then one cup of beef stock and just enough water to reach top of root vegetables. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. As the liquid reduces, continue to reduce the temp to maintain a gentle bubbling simmer.  After 20-25 minutes vegetables should be fork tender, strain out any remaining liquid if some still exists, and mash with a potato masher. Taste and add one more Tbsp butter if needed.

Evenly divide potatoes among four plates. With a pair of tongs roll each rib in the sauce and place ribs directly on top. Spoon a little sauce over ribs and potatoes if desired.  Garnish with fresh chives.

Tip: Oxtails, and several other meats can be braised this way. Another way to remove fat from gravy is to pour it into a glass such as a gravy separator or pint glass, then pour off the fat before returning it back to pot.



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