Hello my friends, today is a two-fer day! Not only am I bringing you a delicious recipe for Chile-Braised Short Rib Tacos, but I also have a story for you! Say what? A recipe AND a story? Yup, it's your lucky day.
This post is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and I was compensated both monetarily and with product. However, the recipe and comments are entirely my own.
So, once upon a time, 125 years ago to be exact, a preacher named W.L. Moore bought 120 acres in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, in a little town called Prospect.
W.L., who was a Waccamaw Siouan Indian met and married Tootie Oxendine, a Lumbee Indian. He ministered at Prospect United Methodist Church and became the first headmaster of Croatan Normal School, an American Indian school that eventually became UNC at Pembroke, while Tootie became the first female Indian teacher in the area.
The couple raised their family in this small town on the banks of the Shoe Hill Creek and Lumber River in rural North Carolina. Today, their descendants are teachers, farmers, and judges in Prospect.
Eddie and Luther Moore, great-grandsons of Tootie and W.L., raised tobacco on their parcel of the family land for years until the winds of change convinced them that they needed to find other uses for their land. They began to grow corn, wheat, and soybeans and raised cattle on their land as a ‘hobby'.
This hobby enabled them to use their land wisely and to know exactly what they were putting on their family's table each night. They were, and are, firm believers in eating as close to the land and as far from a lab as possible.
When word of their pasture-raised, humanely-treated beef ‘hobby' got out, friends and family began to request their dry-aged cuts of beef. That's when, following in the footsteps of great entrepreneurs before them, they founded Moore Brothers All-Natural Beef and dove head-first into the cattle business.
Terry and I met Eddie Moore at their store on a crossroads in Prospect, NC. The company is a true family-run business, with Eddie, his son Lee and brother Luther running the day to day cattle operations. Eddie's and Luther's daughters Ryan, Hannah, Carli, and Lenora run the company store.
Eddie and Lee on the family farm
Eddie is understandably proud of the family run business that provides quality beef to several restaurants and natural foods grocery stores in North Carolina and South Carolina.
For those of you in the Produce Box delivery area, check for boxes containing Moore Brothers All-Natural Beef this spring and for those of you outside of North and South Carolina, Moore Brothers All-Natural Beef will also ship nationwide.
Southern Pines: Nature's Own
Pinehurst: Elliott's on Linden
Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach: Bay Naturals
If you want to feed your family as naturally and as close to the earth as possible, then Moore Brothers produces your kind of beef. The farm produces 95% of what their Angus and Simmental cattle eat.
The cattle are free to roam on the 220 acres that comprise the family farm, both pasture land and wooded areas. They are pasture fed, being supplemented with small grains and hay only as necessary in the winter months.
But most importantly, they are never given antibiotics or hormones; any sick cattle are removed from the herd.
Not only do these conditions produce a healthier cow, but Moore Brothers Beef is then dry aged for 10 to 12 days.
If you're like me, you've heard the term ‘dry aged' but didn't know exactly what was involved or why it was such a great thing. Well, I'm here to tell you!(But wait…it's a three-fer! A story, a recipe AND a quick primer on dry-aging! Did you have a sense it was going to be such a great day?)
When you have one of those steakhouse, dry-aged steaks and you wonder why they taste so incredible, it's due to a couple of changes that take place during the dry-aging process. (Thanks to The Food Lab at Serious Eats for this informative post that I summarized here.)
So after spending the day with Eddie Moore, Terry and I came home with 20 pounds of various beef products (short ribs, ribeyes
, beef bones, ground beef, hot dogs and sausage) and I knew before I left Prospect that day that I'd be making short rib tacos to share with you.
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.
Maybe my logic doesn't hold, but in my mind, 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. 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.
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.
I mentioned at the get-go that this post was sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. North Carolina has a very vigorous ‘Got To Be NC' program to promote all the wonderful, locally grown, raised and harvested products that our state produces.
Now be honest, when you think ‘states that produce beef', North Carolina probably doesn't pop in your head. But North Carolina is home to many cattle ranches that offer beef in the niches of grass-fed, grain-fed, organic, non-GMO, heritage and certified animal welfare approved.
Basically something for everyone! So check your local farmer's market and favorite restaurants, as well as on-line for Moore Brothers All-Natural Beef and other ‘Got To Be NC' products.
I teamed up with several other bloggers to provide you with some mouth-watering recipes, all made with NC Beef. Check them all out here.
My goal today was to provide you with a great short rib taco recipe (check), a great, classically American story (check) and some information that you might not have known(check and check); unless, of course, you are some kind of savant chock-full of dry-aged beef fun facts.
That's it for today my friends and thanks for stopping by to visit. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. And when you leave a comment…ah, it makes my heart sing!
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