Chipotle Beef Short Rib Tacos

chipotle beef ribs tastefood

Beer Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with Jicama Slaw

It’s time to bring out the big guns. It’s been quite busy around here with little time to think, reflect and write. I’ve just finished my final edits on a cookbook project I’ve authored called “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” to be published by Gibbs Smith for the Spring of 2014. (Yes, a whole year away!) It’s also the finish of the school year, when numerous events notoriously conspire to collide. This year is particularly significant since my son is graduating from high school (what?!) It’s proving to be a bittersweet rite of passage, marked by prom and graduation celebrations, an 18th birthday, house guests and kleenex – with work and every day life somehow woven throughout our kodak moments. So for several reasons I share this recipe for Chipotle Short Rib Tacos. First, it’s dang good.  The whole family will love this one – and your friends, your neighbors and house guests. Second, it’s one of my son’s favorites, so say no more. I posted this on TasteFood a while back, and like all good things in the cycle of life, it bears repeating, because repetition begets tradition – which helps to keep us rooted while life is flying by.

Jicama Slaw tf

~ Jicama Slaw ~

Don’t be daunted when I tell you that you should begin this beef short rib recipe two days in advance of serving. The key ingredient in this recipe is time, and the most important technique you will be asked to master is patience. Waiting will be the hardest part, but I assure you the results are well worth it.

The first 24 hours requires making a knock-your-socks-off chipotle spice paste which is rubbed all over the short ribs. The meat is then tucked away in the refrigerator overnight where it will mingle and mull with the spices, and you, the cook, will exercise your patience.

The second day invites a little hands on kitchen work to satisfy your inner-cook. The meat will be seared in a hot pan and then smothered in an intoxicating stock of beer, tomato and onion. If you haven’t yet mastered the patience technique, you will have another opportunity to practice, when the pot of meat, soup and spice is banished to the oven where it will slow cook over several hours. As the meat braises, a heady aroma of spice and meat will fill your kitchen causing your stomach to rumble, your mouth to water and your nose to tingle, leading you to question whether you have the cojones to wait another day to consume this concoction.

You will dig deep within and find the inner strength to muster more patience. The braised meat will cool, while the soup is reduced to a viscous sauce – teasing and testing your will-power as you taste it for seasoning. Then, once again, the pot of beef will be stowed away in the refrigerator overnight, where the newly shredded meat will continue to absorb the flavors of the sauce. The following day, the congealed fat will have risen to form a tidy lid over the stew. It will be swiftly and eagerly removed, like the wrapping of a gift, to reveal a burnished red, intensely flavored stew. As you taste it your senses will light up, because these short ribs will be crazy good. You will feel happy, warm and sated. You will also feel content, knowing that you succeeded in making this dish, while the mouths you are feeding are humming with delight at the table – a deserving reward for your time and patience.

chipotle beef taco tastefood

Beer Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with Jicama Slaw

This recipe is best made 2 days before serving. Feel free to double the portion for a crowd. Serves 4.

Rub:
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 short ribs, 3 to 4 inches in length, about 3 1/2 pounds

Braise:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bottle dark beer
1 (16-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
Salt to taste

Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl. Smear over the short ribs. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the short ribs in one layer in batches. Brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining short ribs.  Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the pot and sauté, 2 minutes. Carefully add the beer, scraping up any brown bits and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices and bay leaves. Return ribs and any juices to the pot, submerging the meat in the stock. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake until meat is tender, about 3 hours.

Remove pot from the oven. Transfer the meat to a bowl and discard the bones.
Bring the stock to a boil and cook until reduced by half, skimming fat with a spoon. Add sugar and any accumulated juices from the meat to the stock. Taste for salt.

While the stock is cooking, and when the meat is cool enough to handle, shred the meat.  Add along with any juices to the stock and heat through. (May be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate, covered. Skim solidified fat from the top before reheating.)

To serve, arrange a tortilla on a plate. Spoon Jicama Slaw down the center of the tortilla. Spoon meat over the slaw, and drizzle with some of the juices. Sprinkle with chopped avocado, cilantro leaves and juice from a lime wedge. Roll up and enjoy.

Jicama Slaw
Makes 4 to 5 cups

3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 cups shredded jicama
3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 small sweet red pepper thinly sliced
1 jalapano pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Combine the cabbage, jicama, green onions and peppers together in a large bowl. Whisk the lime juice, oil, Tabasco, cumin, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour over the cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to 6 hours. Before serving, stir in the cilantro and parsley.

13 responses to “Chipotle Beef Short Rib Tacos

  1. That looks amazing! What beautiful colors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. The whole description of cooking, the recipe, the tradition, and this bitter-sweet time make this a compelling undertaking for me. Thank you!

  3. eastofedencook

    A robust post! Bursting with flavor and emotion from the voluptuous short rib recipe to savoring the magical winds of change!

  4. Such a time for life changes – and I remember this beautiful recipe.

  5. Goodness that looks delicious! Thanks for shaing

  6. I have short ribs in the freezer and this sounds like a nice way to use them.

  7. If only all of our traditions were this tasty!

  8. This is a tradition worth repeating a lot. It looks fantastic and is going on the menu for this weekend. I’m about to make Myles a very, very happy guy.

  9. I like to plan meals two days ahead. that is if they turn out like this. GREG

  10. Made this tonight and it was wonderful!!

  11. Hahaha.. that’s quite a bit of will power you’re expecting here, but I’d be willing to give it a try (with a few nibbles and sauce tasting to tide me over:) This looks yummy. Good luck with your graduation, it’s just the beginning.. My kids are still around while in University so I’m blessed. xx

  12. Pingback: Some of my favourite things this month : emerald + ella blog

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