Short Ribs Braised in Espresso and Chocolate

From Cam Dobranski, Wine Bar Kensington

2009 Sep/Oct

Mostly we don’t think of short ribs as being sexy. These are some sexy short ribs. Mmmmmmm. Find these sexy ribs at Wine Bar Kensington.


  • 4 lb. Spring Creek Ranch boneless short ribs (see Short Ribs Braised with Chinese Five Spice for where to find Spring Creek Ranch ribs)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. red wine (for a richer flavour, add more. It won’t hurt!)
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 c. veal or chicken stock
  • 4 oz. dark Bernard Callebaut chocolate
  • 2 shots espresso
  • cream
  • Maldon salt
  • chopped scallions to garnish


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Trim the ribs of excess fat. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the ribs until browned on both sides. Season lightly with salt and pepper, remove and reserve. In the same pan, cook the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up bits of browned meat from the bottom.

Put the ribs, vegetables, peppercorns and herbs into a large braising pot and cover with the stock. Cover the pot and braise the ribs in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, or until the ribs are very tender. Remove and cool a bit. Remove the ribs from the pot and strain the stock from the vegetables (toss the vegetables, or eat them). Put the stock back into the pot and reduce it by two-thirds.

When the stock has been reduced, add the chocolate and espresso. Adjust the chocolate and espresso to your taste. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of cream to smooth the flavours. Cut the ribs into serving portions, place them on a tray, cover them with the sauce and place the tray in a 375°F. oven to heat up the ribs and thicken the sauce slightly.

Divide the ribs and sauce among 4 to 6 plates, sprinkle with Maldon salt and chopped scallions. Dobranski serves these with fingerling potatoes. Serves 4 to 6.