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Espresso Chile Short Ribs

by Brad Prose
espresso chile short ribs
earthy and warm, great way to wake up with BBQ.

Coffee, chiles and beef.

These Espresso Chile Short Ribs are smokey with an earthy, oven-roasted flavor that packs a fruity heat. Perfect at the end of the day if you’re still craving breakfast food like me. Breakfast is my favorite meal and I don’t feel like having to limit myself to steak and eggs in the morning.

Check out my thoughts on short ribs if you would like some overall tips on how to cook and customize your flavors.

You’re probably wondering why I talk about cooking these for breakfast, yet they take hours to smoke? That’s right I’m eating breakfast for dinner – which we all do! One day I’ll have to figure out how to feasibly serve these for the morning, but I’ll enjoy my evening eggs in the meantime.

espresso chile short ribs
prepping short ribs

Make sure that you use awesome, organic coffee for the grounds in the rub and for spritzing the beef as it smokes. High quality ingredients are important – you probably spent a good amount on your beef ribs so don’t cheap out! The coffee creates a super dark bark and earthiness that adds so much depth to the beef. The acidic coffee will help keep the beef moist while you smoke, making sure you don’t have beef rocks at the end.

espresso chile short ribs
pillowy eggs makes the best bed for the tender beef short ribs.

Espresso Chile Short Ribs

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 8 beef short ribs
 3 tbsp kosher salt, for dry-brine
 2 cups fresh brewed coffee
Espresso Chile Rub
 ¼ cup finely ground espresso
 ¼ cup ancho chile powder
 2 tbsp smoked paprika
 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
 1 tbsp ground cumin
 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
 1 tbsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp kosher salt
 2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
 1 tsp ground coriander
 Worcestershire sauce

1

Cut off any silver skin from the top of the meat, if any. Lightly salt the meat at least 2 hours ahead of time, preferably overnight. Cover and set in the fridge. This step is important to tenderize the meat and help lock in flavor.

2

Combine all of the spices together in a medium bowl. You can use whole spices (peppercorns, coriander, etc.) to toast and grind for a much more intense flavor. I highly recommend this if you have the time and patience.

3

Light the smoker to 225 degrees. This recipe uses pecan for the hardwood, but you can also use apple or oak if you don't have it. Place a small pan filled with water inside if you live in a dry climate.

4

Sprinkle some Worcestershire sauce on the ribs as a light binder for the rub. The meat is already lightly salted, we're just trying to add a little extra umami flavor so don't go overboard. Generously coat the ribs in the Espresso Chile rub.

5

Place the ribs on the smoker at 225 degrees and let them smoke for at least an hour before spritzing. I like to spritz the ribs every 45 minutes or so with some coffee until done. Depending on your meat this will take between 5-8 hours, usually less. Cook until about 205 degrees or the meat is soft.

 

Ingredients

 8 beef short ribs
 3 tbsp kosher salt, for dry-brine
 2 cups fresh brewed coffee
Espresso Chile Rub
 ¼ cup finely ground espresso
 ¼ cup ancho chile powder
 2 tbsp smoked paprika
 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
 1 tbsp ground cumin
 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
 1 tbsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp kosher salt
 2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
 1 tsp ground coriander
 Worcestershire sauce

Directions

1

Cut off any silver skin from the top of the meat, if any. Lightly salt the meat at least 2 hours ahead of time, preferably overnight. Cover and set in the fridge. This step is important to tenderize the meat and help lock in flavor.

2

Combine all of the spices together in a medium bowl. You can use whole spices (peppercorns, coriander, etc.) to toast and grind for a much more intense flavor. I highly recommend this if you have the time and patience.

3

Light the smoker to 225 degrees. This recipe uses pecan for the hardwood, but you can also use apple or oak if you don't have it. Place a small pan filled with water inside if you live in a dry climate.

4

Sprinkle some Worcestershire sauce on the ribs as a light binder for the rub. The meat is already lightly salted, we're just trying to add a little extra umami flavor so don't go overboard. Generously coat the ribs in the Espresso Chile rub.

5

Place the ribs on the smoker at 225 degrees and let them smoke for at least an hour before spritzing. I like to spritz the ribs every 45 minutes or so with some coffee until done. Depending on your meat this will take between 5-8 hours, usually less. Cook until about 205 degrees or the meat is soft.

Espresso Chile Short Ribs

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