Beef Short Ribs With Chile Rub

Beef Short Ribs with Chile Rub

I discovered on a recent trip to the Southwest that they don’t just drink coffee or use it for the occasional tiramisu—they brine, marinade, rub, and barbecue with it. Whether a strong espresso or a mild cup of joe, it’s used to give an earthy layer to big bold meats, especially pork and beef. You can use coffee granules, instant coffee, or a cup of coffee to enhance flavor. Prepare to be surprised, as coffee gives a whole other flavor and depth to the rub mixture in this recipe.

This rub can also be used on pork. Place the meat in a ceramic dish, sprinkle with the rub, and massage it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking.–Valerie Aikman-Smith

LC Mmmm, Beef Short Ribs Note

We swoon to beef short ribs. Prepared any way. Period. But we especially swoon to beef short ribs prepared this way.

Beef Short Ribs with Chile Rub

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 4 H, 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • For the coffee and chile rub
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the beef short ribs
  • 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, cut into squares between the bones (about 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded if desired and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup freshly brewed espresso
  • One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Torn basil leaves (optional), for garnish


  • Make the coffee and chile rub
  • 1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. You should have a scant 1/4 cup. (You can store the rub in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 1 month.)
  • Make the beef short ribs
  • 2. Place the ribs in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the full amount of the coffee and chile rub. Massage the ribs with the rub, using your hands to ensure the ribs are completely coated. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  • 4. Remove the ribs from the fridge. In a Dutch oven or casserole dish large enough to fit all the ribs, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the ribs on all sides, which ought to take 6 to 10 minutes. Be mindful of not smoking the kitchen up too much. Remove the ribs from the pot as they are done and place them on a plate.
  • 5. Add the garlic, onion, and jalapeños to the drippings in the pot and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes, turning down the heat to medium-low if necessary. Carefully pour in the espresso, tomatoes, and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Return the ribs to the pot, put the lid on, and slide it into the oven. Let the ribs braise until tender, 2 to 3 hours. (Begin checking the ribs at 2 hours and then check every 20 minutes or so after that.)
  • 6. Remove the pot from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. If desired, skim any fat from the surface of the sauce. Serve the ribs in bowls with lots of sauce and sprinkle with torn basil leaves, if desired.

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