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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Monday, October 15, 2012

Coffee-Marinated Bison Short Ribs - Part One

This is an amazing recipe and a real showcase for game.  Bison short ribs are the star of this dish.  I get them from Lakeland Meats in the Niagara Region.  You could substitute beef short ribs but if you can get your hands on the bison, I highly recommend it.  

In Part One today I'll show you the marinade and next time you'll see the braising and finished product.  There are a lot of ingredients but the process is easy and the results are well worth it.

This recipe comes from the indispensable Epicurious, but honestly, when I first Googled bison short ribs this was one of the few recipes that came up.  Luckily it was a winner.  Here's what you need for the marinade:

  • 2 cups chilled strong brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 pounds bison (sometimes labeled buffalo) short ribs

  • As you can see, the bison is quite lean.  This makes for a beautiful braise with less fat to contend with.  

    Cut the short ribs between the bones into single ribs.

    Mix the salt and sugar into the coffee to dissolve.  I made this marinade a little differently than the original recipe, which calls for a lot of water.  The recipe is almost more of a brine than a marinade with a large amount of salt and water.  I reduced the salt a bit to 1/3 cup and omitted the water for a more concentrated marinade.  The finished product wasn't overly salty but didn't need to be seasoned at the end.  You could go with less salt in the marinade if using so much freaks you out, but it does infuse the meat with flavour and tenderness.  

    Chop the fresh rosemary and add to the water along with the maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce.  You could also mix everything together in a bigger container if you're less lazy than me.  

    Pour the water and coffee mixtures over the bison ribs in a large ziploc bag or container.

    Remove as much air as you can from the bag and place in the refrigerator overnight.  

    Next time we'll braise the ribs and end up with a delicious, coffee-scented sauce. Stay tuned!

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