If your definition of comfort food is delicious, slow-cooked roasts and stews, this Kauai Coffee braised short ribs recipe is a must-try. Kalbi or flanken cut short ribs, are a popular dish in Hawaii, likely due to Korean and Japanese food traditions brought to the islands during the plantation era. Today, you’ll often find thin-cut kalbi ribs seasoned with teriyaki or other sweet and spicy sauces.
Hawaii is a kaleidoscope of culinary influences and flavors. This recipe deliciously blends the flavors of Hawaii with a slow-cooked, thick-cut short ribs. With a kick of spice from the Hawaiian chili pepper and a rich sauce made with Kauai Coffee, you can’t go wrong serving these flavorful and island-inspired short ribs as a main dish. Enjoy with one of your favorite starchy sides like potatoes, poi, or polenta.
- 4 pounds, bone-in, English cut (2-3 inches thick) short ribs
- 1 cup Kauai Coffee, brewed
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
- 2 fresh Hawaiian chiles, seeded to taste*
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons dried Ancho chili powder**
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Turn on the slow cooker and set to high setting
- Add chopped onion, red pepper, garlic, Hawaiian chili, ancho chili powder, honey, and apple cider vinegar to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and combined.
- Pat ribs dry and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Heat vegetable oil in a skillet until shimmery and brown ribs in batches (about 4 minutes per batch).
- Once seared, place short ribs into the slow cooker and pour the sauce from the blender into the hot pan used to sear the ribs. Be careful as some splattering can occur.
- Cook the pureed sauce over medium heat, occasionally stirring for about 5 minutes.
- Add the brewed coffee and beef stock to the sauce and bring it to a gentle boil and reduce slightly.
- Pour sauce over the seared ribs in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 3.5 to 4 hours or until fork-tender.
*Hawaiian chili peppers are small, fiery peppers that grow year-round throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Substitute serrano, tobasco, or pequin peppers if you are unable to find Hawaiian chili.
** If you are unable to find ancho chili powder, use dried ancho chilies instead. Remove tough ribs and soak the dried chilies in boiling water until soft and then blend with other sauce ingredients.