To many, the thought of adding chocolate and cinnamon to a savory dish like braised beef short ribs, would just seem too strange. I remember the first time I had Chicken Mole in San Francisco’s Mission district, it was so rich and delicious, and when I was told the sauce was actually made with dark chocolate and dried chilies, it took a while to process. It forced me to change how I thought about food, and how ingredients are “supposed” to be used. I’m not sure at that young age I would have even ordered it if I had known there was chocolate in it. Now, it’s my absolute favorite Mexican dish.
Legend has it the recipe I’m showing today comes from the Catalonia region of Spain. It’s an amazingly sexy concoction that would be perfect for that special winter dinner. The chocolate and cinnamon scent the succulent short ribs in a way that is very hard to describe. The first time I served this to my wife Michele her exact response was, and I quote, “wow... wow... wow… mmmmm.”
So, please, free your culinary mind and give this a try! All the ingredients are easy to find and the recipe is almost impossible to mess up.
Warning: to make this properly, the dish takes two days to prepare. The first day it’s braised, then left to cool in the sauce and refrigerated overnight. Day 2, you lift all the fat of the top of the sauce, reheat and serve. I served this with another unusual side dish, Celery Root and Potato Puree, which all also demo. Make sure your butcher picks out some nice meaty short ribs for you, some can have a lot of fat on them, so make sure you check them.
3 pounds beef short ribs (about six 4-in. long)
3 oz Bacon (maybe 4 slices)
1 cup dry sherry
1 quart beef broth
2 cloves garlic
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
5 springs of thyme
2 tbl flour
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leavesblack pepper and salt