Costata di Manzo -- Braised Short Ribs




8 dried ancho chilies
4 cups boiling water
2 md. onion, quartered
6 cloves garlic, mined coarsely
1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
4 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 tsp. salt
1 cup brewed coffee
4 cups boiling water
6 lbs. beef short ribs
1 tbsp. olive oil


Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the stems, seeds and ribs of the chiles, and soak in the boiled water for about 20 minutes, then drain, discard the water. In a large blender, or in stages if the blender is small, blend all remaining ingredients (except the short ribs of beef and the oil) into a puree.

In a large fry pan brown the short ribs over medium high heat in 3 batches. Turn the short ribs at least once to brown on both sides. This should only take about 5 or 10 minutes per batch of short ribs. After browning, transfer to a large roasting pan, large enough to hold all the ribs in one single layer. Carefully add the puree to the hot fat in the skillet (it will spatter), and cook over moderately low heat until boiling gently.

Pour over the ribs, making sure each is coated and almost covered. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and braise ribs in the center of the oven until tender, about 3 to 3½ hours.

When done, allow to cool. Then gently remove ribs to another bowl, cover and refrigerate. Cover the surface of the sauce with wax paper and also refrigerate until cold. Skim off all the fat. Reheat the ribs and sauce together. Serve hot over Polenta.

Author's Comments

This dish takes a while to prepare, especially when degreasing the sauce. But it is well worth the efforts. It is not very spicy, even with the chiles. It has a nice tang and a very enjoyable taste. Even with 6 pounds of ribs, this will only serve about 4 people. There is a lot of bone and waste with short ribs. Served over a slice of polenta, that has taken the flavor of the sauce. It is a great meal. Serve with plenty of napkins . . . it is sloppy!

From my cookbook: The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca

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