The Pairing: 2003 Crooked Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, $30, with Cocoa Coffee Braised Short Ribs.
by Jolene Thym
Contra Costa Times
18 October 2006
THIS BIG Livermore Valley red is deep enough to serve with a main course, full enough to be sipped with anything chocolate. But the real beauty of this small-batch boutique wine is most apparent when it is served alongside a rich braise that is layered with cabernet-friendly flavors. The slight bitterness of the coffee in the braise underscores the tannins, and the fruity earthiness of the cocoa draws out the berry flavors of the cabernet grapes. A saucy dish like this begs for a creamy, simple side dish such as risotto or potatoes.
COCOA COFFEE BRAISED SHORT RIBS
4 pounds boneless short ribs, trimmed
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups cabernet
2 cups strong coffee
Salt and black pepper
- Season ribs with cocoa, salt and pepper. Heat a heavy, oven-proof saute pan or Dutch oven on high; add 1-2 tablespoons oil. Working in batches if necessary, brown ribs on all sides; remove from pan.
- Add vegetables and garlic to the pan; saute over medium heat until vegetables begin to soften. Add thyme and bay leaves and continue to saute until garlic begins to brown. Stir in red wine and coffee.
- Return ribs to the pan. Add enough water to almost cover the meat, but make sure the liquid does not cover the meat entirely. Cover the pan and braise in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour. Remove pan and check liquid level. Add water if needed.
- Return pan to the oven for another hour. After 2 hours, begin checking the ribs to see if they are tender. The ribs are done when the meat is fork-tender. When the ribs are done, remove them to a separate dish and cover.
- Pour juices into a gravy separator and allow to sit for several minutes. Return juices to a saucepan, leaving the bulk of the fat behind. Reduce the liquid until it begins to thicken into a sauce. Season sauce with salt and pepper, and serve with the ribs.
-- Courtesy Neil Marquis, Pleasanton Hotel
580 calories, 25 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 46 g fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 2 g fiber. Calories from fat: 72 percent
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Posted by bean at 3:24 PM