Gentle reader, read this recipe quickly, as it might soon be illegal. Since NYC has banned sales of Four Loko, that can of pure vile that equates to the alcohol of three beers and the caffeine of three cups of coffee, there could be trouble if the authorities get wind of this short-rib braise consisting of near-equal parts—you guessed it—beer and coffee.
Short ribs are a wonderfully rich and flavorful cut of beef; they’re inexpensive, though there is a fair amount of bone and fat going on in the cut, so I recommend buying a bit more weightwise per person than you would of a steak-type cut of beef. This is a great comforting winter dish to feed (and impress) a crowd, for waaay less money than a tenderloin or rack of what-have-you.
Although short ribs do need to be slow-cooked for a long time, they need no maintenance while they’re in the oven. I recommend cooking them a night or two in advance (I often multitask by browning and braising the ribs while I whip up a quick meal for that night). Another advantage of advance cooking is that once you put the dish in the fridge, the fat from the short ribs forms a solid layer on top of the liquid, which you can then skim off before reheating and serving.