Fratelli Perata Winery

Chocolate Short Ribs

A recipe given to us by some visitors to the tasting room, we find it to be an exceptional pairing to the 2014 Zinfandel. The 2014 has hints of chocolate on the palate. This savory pairing is a change from our usual raspberry chocolate pairing. Feel free to finish the dinner and the bottle with a piece of raspberry chocolate.

1 dried guajillo pepper or ancho or pasilla pepper kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 oz dried procini mushrooms pinch dried red chili flakes (optional)
1 cup hot water 1 small can whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups Zinfandel (Fratelli Perata if you dare) 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium yellow onions 1 bay leaf
1 shallot 1 sprig fresh thyme
1 stalk celery 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 clove garlic 3 tbsp chopped or grated bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup pancetta 2 tbsp Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
6 lbs bone-in short ribs 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Remove stem of the guajillo pepper. Split the pepper open and remove the seeds. Spread the pepper open into a flat layer. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and toast the pepper, pressing with a spatula for about 10 seconds on each side. Be careful not to burn the pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water and soak for 15-30 minutes until rehydrated. Remove mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid. Place two cups of wine in a saucepan and reduce over medium heat to 1 cup. Pour reduced wine into a blender with the guajillo pepper and blend until smooth. Set aside. Cut peeled onions into quarters. Peel shallot and cut in half. Cut celery into 1 inch pieces and dice garlic. Place veggies into food processor and pulse until a course paste forms.

Heat a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat and add pancetta. Render the fat from the pancetta, stirring often, until pancetta begins to turn brown and crisp. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate; leave rendered fat in the pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, add to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Brown the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate. Add the veggie paste and the red pepper flakes, if using, to pan and decrease the heat to medium, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and very lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the wine/ guajillo mix to the pan and deglaze. Then add the porcini soaking liquid, being careful to retain any sediments from the mushrooms in the container. Add the tomatoes and carefully crush them with a potato masher. Add the broth, pancetta, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Return the meat to the pot, partially cover and cook at a simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and continue to simmer until the meat is tender, another 1-2 hours more.

Remove meat with the slotted spoon and set aside. Degrease the surface of the sauce and boil until the sauce just begins to thicken. Decrease the heat to a simmer and stir in the bittersweet chocolate., cocoa powder, rosemary, and reseason with salt and pepper to taste. Return meat to pan and cook 5 minutes to warm through.