Braised Short Ribs with Coffee & Apples
3 ½ pounds beef short ribs, with bone (about 1-by-3-inch pieces), or beef cheeks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons Sheba N.40 spice blend
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion, peeled and thinly slices (2 cups)
1 carrot, peeled and thinly slices (1 ½ cups)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
1 ½ cups brewed coffee
2 cups chicken stock
3 Fuji or Braeburn apples
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Freshly ground pepper
1. In a large bowl, toss the beef with 1 tablespoon of the salt, 1 tablespoon of the Sheba spice blend and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, season the short ribs with pepper and sear on all sides until deeply browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
3. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt, the celery root and 1 tablespoon of the Sheba and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef, coffee and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, place in the oven and bake for about 3 hours or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. Peel the apples, then cut each into six wedges and place them in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of Sheba and the cider vinegar and toss.
5. Skim the fair off the surface of the beef braising liquid and increase the oven to 375 F. Add the apples to the ribs and place the pot, uncovered, in the oven. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes, basting with the cooking liquid every 10 minutes, until the apples are fork tender and the meat is glazed. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and serve.
Photography by Thomas Schauer.