Coffee Braised Bison Short Ribs with Mashed Sunchokes

E-mail from my sister the week before Christmas:
"Hey Julie… You should be expecting a 22 lbs package on Tuesday."

I was flying home for the holidays, so she had been thoughtful enough to remember my disdain for checking luggage. I'll do anything to avoid it. My impatience. Get me in and out. Chop chop. But if you write "David Hasselhoff" all over your luggage you get it quicker. There's a story related to "the Hoff", but that's for another time and another blog. Back to the email. What could it be I wondered? 22 lbs? Quite a hefty load. I had been talking about lining the oven with terra cotta stones. An inversion machine, perhaps? After much thought, I emailed back, "Is it a bulldog puppy?" Fingers crossed. An apartment dweller can dream can't she? :)
Needless to say, it wasn't a bulldog. Not even close. Tuesday night came around and before my door appeared the said package. Removing the first brown box revealed a white Crate & Barrel box. Getting interesting now. I ripped the tape off to reveal (Hooray) a kitchen appliance. Cheer. Drum roll please… a 5-quart Crock Pot!!! How much more perfect can you get? I love kitchen appliances with a passion.
Crock pots are perfect for cooking all things low and slow. I had to think long and hard about what to make in my new toy. Vegetarian-wise, I could only think of beans and that just wasn't doing it for me. I wanted to be excited. And it was hard to be excited about beans when all I could think of was juicy, flavor infused, fork-tender, falling off the bone meat. There was my internal turmoil that lasted two seconds before I made up my mind and grabbed my bison short ribs out of the refrigerator. I browned them in my cast iron and braised them in a mixture of coffee, chicken broth, onions, garlic and maple syrup for six hours. I also threw in a few marrow bones for good measure. Think osso buco. A scoop of marrow on the meat, crunch of fleur de sel. Oh la la. C'est bon! That's heaven for me.
After much deliberation at the farmers' market, I purchased some Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes. I've passed by them numerous times, but have never taken the bait. They're the knobby, gnarly roots of a wild sunflower. Honestly, they looked like a bitch to peel and that's why I had been avoiding them. See for yourself:

The vendor swore to me up and down that this was not the case. All they needed was a good scrubbing, much like their tuberous cousins. I'm all about trying new things, so why not? I boiled them in salted water until tender and mashed them with just a pat of butter. I'm sad that I've been missing out on these for so long. They taste divine. They have a great creamy texture and a flavor reminiscent of mild artichoke hearts. They were also perfect for soaking up the savory bison marinade.

Good things: crock pots(and the sister that got it for you, duh)//meat on the bone//sunchokes//EATING


  • Misallaneous

    22 Jan 2008 09:01 pm

    this would definitely be one of those dishes that i’ll ask you, “julie, why the HELL was i not there to eat this?”  but, wait, i WAS there and it was the most scrumptious plate of miracles.  so when are you making it again?  no, really.

  • Food Rockz Man

    06 Feb 2008 07:02 am

    I just stumbled upon your blog via TasteSpotting and . . . wow!

  • Ned

    09 Feb 2009 08:02 am

    [this is good]

  • petia

    12 Mar 2009 02:03 pm

    [this is good]

  • peltonin

    11 Apr 2009 12:04 pm

    [this is good]


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