Braised on the bone, these English-cut Short Ribs with Coffee Gravy are dripping with the dark, earthy flavors of the Louisiana terroir they come from. The thick, rich, savory gravy with the smell of dark roast coffee has a slight edge of sticky sweetness from the sugarcane molasses that balances this dish. It’s not only delicious, but it’s also quick and easy.
To say that a slow cooker is the best thing to happen to home cooks since well, sliced bread, may be a bit overstated. It all took off in the 1970s when women joined the workforce in droves. And if you think about the fast-paced lifestyle of two-income homes where preparing a weeknight meal is next to impossible, finding shortcuts like the slow cooker is a lifesaver.
I’ve been cooking in mine for years. I’ve found that a long, slow six-hour braise in a ceramic slow cooker is one of the fastest ways to cook. The beauty of the vessel is that the cooking liquid does not evaporate which means that the cooking time can be extended without supervision. “Set it and forget it,” is a familiar TV pitch, but in the case of cooking with a slow cooker, it is an apt description. Another thing I love is the time saved during cleanup; the glaze on the ceramic insert is non-stick and means it will clean with little effort.
My Short Ribs with Coffee Gravy could easily be prepared in a conventional oven or stovetop, but the controlled temperature and ultra-slow braise in a slow cooker works even better. Meaty beef short ribs are rendered fork tender in an oniony broth of aromatics punched with the umami flavor of two heralded Louisiana products: dark roast Community coffee and Steen’s molasses. Once done, remove the meat, and give it a rest. Another ten minutes will help idle the juices and give you precious time to make a pan gravy that will make you a culinary idol to your waiting guests.
Give this convenient Short Ribs with Coffee Gravy recipe a try and discover the joy of coming home to a tasty dinner with no last-minute hassle.
- 8 (6-inch) short ribs (about 4 pounds), bone-in and fat trimmed
- 4 tablespoons Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- 2 (18.5-ounce) cans Progresso onion soup
- 1 tablespoon beef base, such as Better Than Bouillon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped green onion
- 1 cup sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1½ cups brewed dark roast coffee
- 1 tablespoon sugarcane molasses
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 8 cups mashed potatoes, for serving
- 4 sprigs parsley, for garnish
- Inspect the short ribs and remove any excess fat. Sprinkle on all sides with Cajun seasoning.
- In the ceramic bowl of a slow cooker, add the onion soup, beef base, tomato paste and 2 cups water. Add the short ribs, meat side down. Add the carrots, onions, parsley, and bell pepper. Add the brewed coffee and molasses.
- Set the timer to 6 hours on high; cover and let cook.
- Once the beef is tender, remove from the slow cooker along with the carrots. Strain off the sauce into a saucepan and discard the vegetables.
- Over high heat, bring the sauce to a simmer. Make a slurry with the cornstarch by adding a few tablespoons of cold water, and add to the sauce to thicken to coat the back of a spoon. Once thickened, strain it once more to remove any lumps. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes with a ladle of gravy over all. Serve the carrots on the side and garnish with sprigs of parsley and a grind of black pepper.
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