Braised Chile-Spiced Short Ribs with Black Beans

By Epicurious - Maggie Ruggiero

For Beans:

1 pound dried black beans (about 2 1/4 cups)
8 cups water
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf

For Short Ribs:

1 1/4 ounces dried ancho chiles (3 to 4 medium)
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotles in adobo plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 whole cloves
2 1/3 cups cold water, divided
5 pounds of beef short ribs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 pound sliced bacon, chopped
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
Accompaniments: chopped white or red onion; chopped cilantro

Quick-Soak Beans:

1. Put beans in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches.

2. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.

Make Chile Purée:

3. Wipe anchos clean, then stem and seed. Discard ribs and tear anchos into pieces.

4. Soak anchos in boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Transfer the anchos to a blender, reserving the soaking liquid.

5. Purée anchos with onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, tomato paste, molasses, cumin, cloves, 1/3 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Braise Short Ribs:

6. Pat the ribs dry and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper (total). Heat oil in a wide 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown the ribs in batches, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer the ribs as they are browned to a platter. Discard the fat from the pot.

7. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

8. Cook bacon in a pot over medium heat until browned, then transfer it to a platter with a slotted spoon.

9. Stir the chile purée into the fat in the pot (it may spatter). Cook, stirring frequently, for 6 minutes. Stir in the reserved chile-soaking liquid, the remaining 2 cups water, and the cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil. Return the ribs and bacon to the pot and braise, covered, in the oven until the ribs are very tender, 3 to 3 1/4 hours. Skim the fat from the sauce.

Cook Beans while Ribs Braise:

10. Drain the beans, then return them to the pot and add fresh water (8 cups), a bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 1 1/4 to 2 hours (depending on the beans’ age). Drain just before serving.

11. Serve short ribs with beans.

Cooks’ notes:

•Short ribs can be made 3 days ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
•Beans can be cooked 3 days ahead and chilled (do not drain). Reheat before draining.


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