This recipe for Short Rib Tacos begins with a brown sugar & spice rub, followed by a sear to get ‘that crust’ and then a slow braise in a chili broth for fall-apart tender meat.
I’ve been ruminating on how to prepare these short rib tacos for the past month. I know that the standard method is to slow cook them in a braising liquid for several hours, but I really wanted to roast these short ribs in the oven.
I was hoping to focus less on the flavor of a sauce and more on the meat’s natural flavor.
I coated them with a brown sugar/spice rub, seared them to achieve a nice crust, spread chile braise over top and then let a low and slow oven work it’s magic to create these tender and delicious short rib tacos.
For the chile-braise, I used chili paste instead of chile powder for a deeper, richer flavor. I easily adapted this recipe from Serious Eats using the dried chiles I could get my hands on (Ancho, Guajillo and New Mexico). However, feel free to use chili powder as indicated in the recipe.
- 3 pounds beef short ribs
- 2 TB brown sugar
- 1 TB cumin
- 1 TB salt
- 1 TB smoked paprika
- 1 TB garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 small onion, roughly cut
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 TB chile paste or 3/4 TB chile powder
- 3 TB tomato paste
- 3 TB bacon fat, or olive oil
- 1 TB brown sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced (a mandoline slicer works great)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 TB granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Prepare rub by mixing all rub ingredients together.
- Dry off short ribs with a paper towel
- Pat rub on all sides of ribs
- Put the ribs on a cookie cooling rack on top of a jelly roll pan, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, heat 2-3 TB oil or bacon fat over medium-high heat. Sear the ribs on all sides, about 2 minutes each side.
- Preheat oven to 300'.
- Place seared ribs into an oven-proof pan and set aside.
For the Chile Braise
- In blender or food processor, place onion, garlic, chile paste, tomato paste, red wine, cumin, and sugar. Process until pureed.
- Wipe out the pan you used to sear the short ribs if it needs (i.e. burnt pieces) and add 1 TB oil/fat.
- Add pureed chiles to oil/fat and saute for 3- 4 minutes.
- Evenly distribute the puree over the top of the ribs, cover with aluminum foil snugly and bake for 3 hours, until tender and falling apart.
- Remove from oven, remove aluminum foil turn oven on to broil and place ribs 6 inches from broiler for 7-8 minutes.
- Pull meat off and serve with flour tortillas, cotija cheese, pickled onions, and cilantro.
- It can easily be made ahead of time and reheated.
Pickled Red Onions
- Place onions in a bowl.
- Combine apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and warm water. Stir to dissolve
- Pour over sliced onions, making sure they are covered
- Let sit for an hour before serving
- Store unused in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1250Total Fat: 91gSaturated Fat: 39gTrans Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 51gCholesterol: 349mgSodium: 1857mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 89g
It was all I could do to keep the family’s collective fingers out of the pot. Suffice it to say that there were no leftovers.
(Not at all related to the recipe, but I want to point out the tablecloth! Isn’t it lovely! My grandmother embroidered this beauty 40+ years ago and it is easily one of my treasured heirlooms)
Serve these short rib tacos with pickled red onions, cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, and avocado. And if you really want to impress, whip up a batch of my dad’s famous Margaritas, which are easily the Best Margarita you will ever have!
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to these chile-braised short ribs tacos in the future.
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