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Chipotle braised short ribs

Serves 4

Boneless beef ribs cut from the chuck flap are used at Masa in the South End. These might be hard to find, so ask your butcher for flanken-style beef ribs (with the bones cut crosswise), about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. The restaurant smokes the beans, which taste as if they were cooked over a campfire. Although this version doesn't call for smoking, they still taste great. And though the ribs recipe serves 4, you'll have plenty of beans left over for a black bean salad the next day .

RIBS

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 beef short ribs (each about 1 pound)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 large onion, sliced

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups dry red wine

3 canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce

5 sprigs fresh thyme

5 leaves fresh sage

1 can (46 ounces) tomato juice

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Brown the ribs on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Brown the vegetables, stirring often, for 6 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it bubble for about 5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by a third.

3. Stir in the chipotles, thyme, sage, and tomato juice. Bring the mixture to a boil. Nestle the ribs in the liquid. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.

4. Cook the ribs for 2 3/4 to 3 hours or until the meat is very tender. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

5. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid. If made ahead, reheat the ribs on top of the stove for 15 minutes.

BEANS

1 pound bacon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 pound dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained

10 cups chicken stock

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped

1 can (15 ounces) whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, render the bacon, stirring often, or until it is browned.

2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the beans, stock, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cover the pan. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Set a colander over a bowl. Pour the beans into the colander, discard the thyme, and set both beans and cooking liquid aside.

3. In the casserole, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapenos and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is just beginning to brown.

4. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of the reserved bean liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 25 minutes, or until the mixture reaches a paste consistency.

5. Stir in the beans, salt, and pepper.

6. Place a mound of beans in large shallow bowls. Add a short rib to each one with some of the sauce. Adapted from Masa restaurant

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