Date Sugar and Port Braised Short Ribs

The thing about chocolate is its diversity in the kitchen. Over the past few years I’ve started throwing chocolate nibs and full on chocolate bars into my cooking, and I don’t mean just desserty things. Chocolate, with its varying flavor profiles, earthy, nutty and fruity notes, is the exact add to your recipe repertoire that you didn’t even know you needed.

Over the next few months, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite chocolate-inclusive recipes, some original and some adapted to fit our home's unique taste preferences and diet needs.

So let’s get cooking!

Caveat: One important thing to mention is my cooking style. If I do use a recipe, I rarely follow the entire recipe to a “T.” I usually use it as a base, or guidelines, then take creative liberty and go down a merry cooking path, drinking a glass (or two) or wine and blasting Whitney Houston.

My cooking usually includes a dash of this, a handful of that and calling Kelechi (my partner) into the kitchen at least once to leverage her amazing palette. At the end of the day, the amounts and measurements listed below are estimates. Without further ado, below is our first chocolate-inclusive recipe.

This recipe is adapted from a Port Braised Lamb Shank recipe from RecipeTin Eats.


  • 12 medium-sized short ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 cups port (depends on your tastebuds)
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sriracha
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Fresh thyme
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 3 tbs. Quinoa flour
  • About a quarter cup of masa
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ½ a bar of Dalloway Date Sugar Chocolate


1. Let short ribs come to room temperature and salt them on both sides.

raw short ribs date sugar chocolate


2. In a large dutch oven heat about 1 tbs. of olive oil on high heat and put half of the short ribs in the pan to brown. While browning sprinkle garlic and onion powder over the ribs. When one side is brown, flip the little guys over and sprinkle more onion and garlic powder on the other side. Using a large dutch oven, I needed to do my browning in two batches.

3. Remove short ribs and place to the side.

4. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped onion, carrot, and garlic. I’m notorious for burning garlic, so if you are too, bring the heat WAY down and watch that pan like a hawk!

5. When the onions are soft, about 5 minutes, add the quinoa flour and masa. I’ll be honest, I measured the quinoa flour but just grabbed about a handful of masa and threw it in. The first time I made this recipe I used only masa and really loved the texture it brought to the dish.

6. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the short ribs, Sriracha, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar) and stir.

7. Place the ribs back into the pot and submerge them as much as possible.

port braised short ribs date sugar chocolate

8. Now is the time to get creative! We love spice in our house so I used a liberal pinch of red pepper flakes and a few squirts of Sriracha. If you’re not a heat-forward person, feel free to leave these two ingredients out.

9. Now comes the crucial ingredient! Balsamic vinegar. A little background on this. When I made these ribs, I called Kelechi into the kitchen to try the sauce. She told me it needed acid. And she was soooo right. So add that balsamic vinegar to taste. I used around 6-8 capfuls. But you do you and use as much as tastes good to your palette. Then, add salt to taste.

10. Set your stove to medium and cooked covered for 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook uncovered for around another 30 minutes.

Recommended Side Dishes

I made a vegan corn casserole, a kale salad and roasted sunchokes. I’m newly obsessed with sunchokes.



Cheers and chocolate,





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