This is an unbelievably rich and decadent rib-sticking stew, which is basically made from all of our favourite things. The Bahen & Co. 70% cacao bar from Papua New Guinea has a beautiful raspberry sweetness that balances really nicely with the bitterness of coffee and Guinness beer.
Because this is such a rich dish, we would recommend keeping sides pretty light - some boiled potatoes and charred leeks with a good squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil, or roasted brussels sprouts drizzled with sesame oil would complement beautifully.
- 1kg beef short ribs
- 2 large onions
- 750m Guinness beer
- 1 block of Bahen & Co.'s 70% PNG cacao bar
- 250ml strong black coffee (filter or plunger)
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 3-4 star anise pods
- 50g prunes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chilli powder (optional) - I recommend something aromatic like Korean Gochugaru or Mexican style ancho chile
- Slice the short ribs between bones so you end up with roughly 1-inch cubes. Heat a large frying pan to medium-hugh and season the ribs to brown on all sides.
- While the ribs are browning, get a large/heavy stockpot going on a low heat. Roughly dice the onions and add them to the stockpot with oil. Sauté over low heat until the onion starts to colour.
- With the onions at the bottom of the pot, start layering ribs with prunes and star anise. Bury the cinnamon somewhere around the middle of the pot and once everything is in, add the coffee and beer until the meat is covered. Simmer, covered for about 90 minutes however make sure to check occasionally. If the top layer is starting to dry out, add a splash of beer on top.
- After 90 minutes, the meat should be fairly tender and richly flavoured with just a slight bitterness from the coffee. Take the lid off and allow to simmer uncovered while you melt the chocolate in a clean and dry bowl sitting over boiling water. Once that's done, pour the chocolate in with the beef to mix thoroughly, ensuring to scrape all the onion off the bottom of pan to get chocolate right through the whole pot. You can add your chilli powder here too if you are choosing to use some.
- Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes until the gravy is thick and glossy, and the meat is meltingly tender. At this last stage, check the seasoning - if it's too sweet, add a splash more coffee, or a splash more beer if it's too rich.
- Serve and enjoy with a tall glass of Guinness!