Sunday, January 9, 2011

Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary

This is another good recipe for the cold, dreary weather we’re having. No rain lately, but it stays cloudy all day. I only want to eat comfort food. I’ve adapted this from my vast collection of Bon Appetit magazines:

Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary

1 ½ oz pancetta, diced   
3 lbs bone-in short ribs
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
¼ c carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 can low salt chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
(I used fire roasted because that’s what I had on hand)
1 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
1 large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp shaved bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

I always have a terrible time deciding what wine to use in a recipe. I rather randomly selected Night Harvest California Merlot that we had received from our Sunset wine club. Since I had never tasted it, I had to go on the description on the bottle. It was fine for the recipe, but I didn’t like it well enough to drink it with the meal. But Larry did, so it didn’t go to waste.

I used my new microplane that I got for Christmas to shave the chocolate. And I wore the safety glove. What a dream cooking gadget! And no shaved fingers – only very fine chocolate with very little effort. How did I mange without a microplane for all these years??!!

Heat large heavy pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Brown ribs in drippings in pot on medium-high heat until brown on all sides. (Note: I’ve never had pancetta make enough drippings to be able to do this. You’ll probably need to add more oil.) Transfer ribs to plate.

Add onions and next four ingredients to pot. Cover, reduce heat and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add wine, boil uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes, scraping up browned bits. Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and pancetta. Return ribs to pot and cover. Simmer
1 ½ hours.

Then uncover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about another hour.  Transfer ribs to plate, discard bay leaf and thyme stem. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat, add chocolate, cocoa powder and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts. Salt and pepper to taste. Return ribs to pot. Simmer to rewarm, about 5 minutes.

Originally I had planned to serve the short ribs with polenta. But I still have leftover potatoes and crème fraiche from a dish I didn’t make at Christmas, so I made crème fraiche mashed mashed potatoes instead. 


  1. Hmmm--sounds interesting. So, what was in your "Chopped" basket--let's see, chocolate, rosemary, pancetta and short ribs. There you go. Can't wait to try this!

  2. Oooh, chocolate! Kind of like in mole? Yum! I bet it adds a wonderful mysterious depth to the tender meat.

  3. I've been looking for a different short rib recipe and this looks incredible. Time to buy short ribs :-)

  4. Oh Yes! Chocolate and short ribs..sounds like a match made in heaven

  5. Love the addition of chocolate in the short ribs. I always put some cocoa powder in my chili, but never considered putting it in other dishes. I will definitely have to try this!