Tonight I made some bomb ass Mexican-inspired braised short ribs, and it couldn't have been simpler. Usually most recipes for braises require you to sear the meat over the stove before simmering on the stove or roasting in the oven, but I avoided that mess altogether and the results were still outstanding - the secret is using minimal liquid and moderate temperature for sufficient time in the oven. Three hours at 325 degrees F gets the meat fork tender and also triggers the Maillard reaction on the meat, giving you that dark brown coloring you're looking for.
Here's the recipe:
- .5 cup cider vinegar
- 1 bottle of beer (I used Harpoon IPA)
- 2 oz dried ancho chiles (stemmed, seeds removed, and soaked a little warm water)
- Half head of garlic smashed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- .5 teaspoon cinnamon
- .5 teaspoon clove
- .5 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- one medium-sized spoonful of tomato paste
- 1 large onion (sliced in half inch slices)
- 1 pack of beef short ribs (I got mine for BJ's)
- Cabbage, red onion and carrot slaw - get the recipe here
Add all of the ingredients, except for the onion and short ribs, in a large Dutch oven pot and mix to combine.
Layer the slices of onion on the bottom of the pot.
Place the short ribs on top of the onions.
Cover the pot, and cook in a 325 degree F oven for 3 hours.
When they come out of the oven, the short ribs will look like this - nicely browned.
Remove the short ribs to a plate, and then finish the sauce. Skim off any fat that pools at the surface and discard the bay leaves. Place all of the pot contents into a blender - I used my trusty Vitamix - and blend until smooth.
Meanwhile, use two forks to shred the short ribs, and add the shredded meat back to your Dutch oven.
Dump the blended sauce back into the pot and combine with the meat. Heat gently to warm.
Finally, build your tacos! Take a heated, softened corn tortilla, add some of the delicious short rib meat, and top with the veggie slaw, chopped cilantro, and crumbled Cotjia cheese. Enjoy!