Sunday, October 21, 2012


serves 4-6

Coffee-Maple Marinade/Brine
4 cups water
3 cups chilled strong coffee
1/2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/4 cup table salt
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ice cubes

4 lb. bone-in English-cut bison short ribs

Montana Coffee Sauce
1/4 cup diced bacon
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 cup strong coffee
1 cup homemade beef stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, or more to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marinade/Brine: Combine the water, coffee, salt, and brown sugar in a large plastic tub or stainless steel bowl and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in the maple syrup, rosemary, and Worcestershire. Chill the brine by stirring in the ice until it melts; the brine should be very cold, about 45 degrees F, before the meat is added. Add the ribs, weigh them down with a plate, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.

Remove the ribs from the brine and pat them dry. Discard the brine. (At this point, the ribs can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Sauce: Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned and beginning to crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and, working in batches, add the ribs to the pot and lightly brown on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions, shallots, garlic, and jalapeno to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring from time to time, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the coffee and stock and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil.

Add the bacon and short ribs, and when the pot returns to a boil, cover and pop into the oven. Cook for 2 hours, or until the ribs are fork-tender. If not done, cover and continue cooking, checking every 30 minutes.

When the ribs are done, remove from the oven an degrease any surface fat. If the sauce is too thin, remove the ribs and boil down to a syrupy consistency. You should have 2 to 3 cups sauce. Taste the sauce and add more vinegar and brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. If necessary, return the ribs to the sauce and reheat before serving.

bacon recipe courtesy of: The Great Meat Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today's Meat by Bruce Aidells, with Anne-Marie Ramo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012

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