So a week and a half ago my significant other came to me with a request for a short rib recipe. Obviously, because I have a food blog I would have a good answer, but I had just finished cooking and cleaning for a post and it was late at night and my mind had shut down. I did what I don’t like to do and googled a Korean Kalbi(short ribs) recipe and proceeded to make the marinade and bag the ribs for her camping trip that weekend. She was super happy and the ribs were a hit. Great. But not great. It has bugged me since. She came to me for an original recipe and I didn’t provide one. Hmmfff. These ribs are the redemption for what I see as a personal failure in letting her down (even though she doesn’t see it that way). Oh yeah, and this dish is paleo/whole30.
Espresso rubbed beef short ribs. Simple right? What’s a little espresso to perk up your evening! It actually doesn’t work like that (at least from what I can tell). I normally can’t drink coffee after 1PM without risking my evening shut-eye as the caffeine late in the day like that keeps me up at night. I love my house, but don’t need to stare at the ceiling all night. Anyway, these espresso rubbed short ribs don’t seem to. So for all of you out there like me, you shouldn’t bat an eyelash at it. I’ve been sleeping fine. Better than fine. I’ve had some damn good ribs to eat.
So why espresso ground coffee? It’s rich and roasted flavour says it all. Can you substitute regular coffee? I don’t see why not. If you do, don’t forget to share your results. I may try it myself before you get to it!
The concept of this simple rub is based upon a rub I used to use quite often when I smoked more meat. That rub, which I got from some amazing people on the Green Egg forum at the time, is made mainly of ground espresso and ancho chili powder with some paprika, garlic powder, etc thrown in. I can post that rub recipe (or link to it) if any of you wish. I have also seen something similar on the food network if memory serves me correctly. Anyway, I can’t have spicy food, so I left out the ancho for this. I wanted it to be simple. Just espresso ground, plain and simple. Since I love a steak that’s marinated in fresh herbs, I threw in the oregano and thyme. I use fresh, but you can use dry. Just keep an eye on the qty as it won’t be the same. Dry is more potent.
What about salt? You should put the salt on an hour or so BEFORE the oil and rub. The oil helps the rub stick to the meat, while it would inhibit the salt absorption. So salt the meat ahead of time, shake excess off and pat dry after an hour, apply the oil, and apply the rub. Give yourself a high five cuz you’re that much closer to some awesome ribs.
Now, I made my own BBQ sauce for this recipe. I highly recommend you do the same. There is a certain level of pride in serving this to your family and saying that YOU made the BBQ sauce. It really is simple and you likely have all of the ingredients in the cupboard. I used the meat juices from the sous vide bag (a technique I will get into next), but you can sub beef broth just as easily. If you want a kick, add some red chillies. Go ahead. Make me jealous!
Sous vide. There is certainly a lot of buzz out there about sous vide these days and it is becoming more and more popular for the home cook, thought the practice has been around for a long time in commercial kitchens. The basic principle is that you place your meat in a plastic bag with rub, herbs, marinade, etc., get as much air out of it as possible, seal it so water can’t get in, then place it in a pot or bin that is holding a steady water temperature for a predetermined amount of time. The temp is at 167F and I let them cook in there for about 5 hours. You can go as long as 8 and still have great results.
Seems simple enough, but not everyone has a sous vide machine. I hear ya. Again you can skip this step and still have an awesome product. I can say, however, that the sous vide method does tenderize the meat more, and helps keep the juices in longer as the meat basically cooks in its own juice. Sounds dreamy right? Well it is. I have a friend who is a die hard for grilling, and even he admitted that the meat done sous vide was more tender and juicy than the meat on the grill. Anyway, you won’t lose either way.
Sous Vide Method
If you are using a sous vide method, you’ll want to do two things. You’ll want to use the beef juice from the bag for your bbq sauce and you’ll want to crisp them up on the grill quickly before serving. You can let the ribs rest for a while out of the sous vide while you make your sauce and the BBQ heats up. Nothing will happen to them. They are already cooked. If you are skipping the sous vide step, then you are just cooking completely on the BBQ. I like the high heat as I like to sear in the moisture. These don’t need that much time as they are thin (these started at almost 1/2″). I would sear about a minute per side then add sauce and sear another minute per side. This will bake some of the sauce into the crust. Crusty, saucy goodness. Remove them from the heat to rest (about 5 mins) and sauce them lightly again before serving.
Non-Sous Vide Method
If you are skipping the sous vide step, then you are just cooking completely on the BBQ. I like the high heat as I like to sear in the moisture. These short ribs are fairly thin (these started at almost 1/2″). They don’t need a lot of time. If the grill is really hot, I would do a minute a side and flip back and forth about 6 times then add sauce to both sides and give them another minute per side to bake on that marvellous BBQ sauce. Remove them to rest (about 5 mins), and sauce lightly again before serving.
Plate and then garnish with chopped fresh chives and parsley. Now get yourself ready for a tug of war because once these hit the table, they are going to get snapped up fast!!
So there it is folks. Give it a shot. Try, trade, change, comment, or share. Doesn’t matter. Just get something in your belly for reading this long post. You deserve it!Print
Espresso Rubbed Beef Short Ribs with Savoury BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 cup espresso ground coffee (I use Medaglia D’oro Italian Roast)
- 8 sprigs fresh oregano (sub 1 tbsp dry)
- 16 sprigs fresh thyme (sub 1 tbsp dry)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup onion diced
- 1-1/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup beef juices from sous vide bag (or same amount beef broth if you are not using sous vide)
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp Dijon
- 1/2 can tomato paste (75ml)
- salt ribs on both sides and let rest for 30 mins to an hour in the fridge
- spray (rub) the ribs with olive oil
- rub in the mixed espresso coffee rub (if using dry ingredients) or just rub in coffee if using the fresh ingredients
- sweat onions and garlic
- add the diced tomatoes
- cook until soft
- add beef juice (or equivalent amount of beef broth)
- bring to a simmer
- add molasses, Dijon, and tomato paste
- reduce heat and simmer until thick
- allow to cool slightly
- put in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (or the consistency you love)
- brush on the ribs or eat from the bowl