Sunday, December 27, 2009

Coffee Marinated Bison Ribs

While visiting a friend's farmer's market in Phoenixville, PA, I found another source of grass-fed buffalo meat. It was more expensive than the farm that we visit in Hamlin, PA, but I picked up two packages of buffalo short ribs anyway (about $25). I found this recipe on the web from the February 2008 Bon Apetit and adapted it to use my slow cooker. The recipe is time consuming, but well worth it. Each portion came out to be about $7 with all the ingredients.

Coffee-Marinated Bison Short Ribs


4 cups water
3 cups chilled strong brewed coffee
1/2 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 plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ice cubes
4 pounds bison (often labeled buffalo) short ribs

Short Ribs

2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped shallots
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, chopped
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

To prepare the marinade

Stir 4 cups water, coffee, 1/2 cup coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add syrup and next 3 ingredients; stir until ice melts. Add ribs. Place plate atop ribs to keep submerged. Cover and chill 4 to 6 hours. Drain ribs; discard marinade. Drained ribs can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

To prepare the short ribs

Heat until smoking a deep cast iron pan and add olive oil. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook ribs until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer to large plate. Add onions, shallots, garlic, and jalapeño to pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add coffee and broth; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add chili sauce and all remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Transfer all to a slow cooker and cook for at least 6 hours, more to taste. We like our ribs falling off the bone, so we cooked them for about 8-9 hours.

We weren't ready to eat ours right away so I put them in the freezer almost immediately after they cooled with a generous portion of the liquid they cooked in. When we were ready to eat them a few days later, I defrosted them overnight, and then when we got home from work, I put them into a foil covered pan and heated them at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. They were delicious.

White Chocolate Christmas Triangles

Friends of ours had a holiday party and asked that all of their guests bring triangle-shaped foods. Everyone's first thought is always phyllo dough triangles, but I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe after googling for "triangle recipe": Double Ginger Shortbread Triangles, and I sprinkled a little red sugar on the white chocolate tips to make them look more festive. They were a hit and I would definitely make them again.

Double Ginger Shorbread Triangles with White Chocolate and Red Sugar Sprinkles


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 Tbsp ground ginger

1 T bsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely diced
1 ounce of white chocolate, melted according to package directions (I used white chocolate chips)
crystallized ginger, cut into thin strips


Heat oven to 325°F. Line a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-in. jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Beat butter, sugar, ground ginger, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until creamy. On low, beat in flour just until blended. Press evenly with floured fingers over bottom of prepared pan. With a knife, cut dough lengthwise into 4 equal strips, then crosswise into 4 equal strips, making 16 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half diagonally. Prick each triangle several times with a fork. Bake a half an hour or until shortbread looks dry and pale gold. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes; recut cookies while still warm. Cool completely in pan before decorating. To decorate: Dip short sides of each triangle into melted white chocolate, or spread melted chocolate on triangles. Decorate with a few strips of ginger. Refrigerate to set chocolate.