Braised short ribs had their moment in the sun a few years ago. Like most things that become totally (meant to be pronounced like a Valley Girl TOE-TUH-LEE) the rage, they disappeared nearly as quickly as they appeared – which in my opinion is a shame. Braised Beef Short Ribs are seriously fabulous. My production of them makes my husband and young sons exceedingly happy. Rather than haul out my standard braised short ribs, I thought – why not do something COMPLETELY different (live on the wild side, change things up, rock the boat…) and give them a Mexican twist. I know, I’m positively RECKLESS. Get ahold of yourself for heaven’s sake. Have I mentioned that my beloved Grandmother – many of whose recipes have graced this blog, used to say, “Land’s Sakes” all the time? Land’s Sakes, now there’s a phrase that doesn’t get much play with the young folks. Anyway, I diverge. These slightly Mexican-ish ribs are WAY good. My husband and children LOVE them. And believe it or not, they aren’t hard to make.
Mexican Braised Beef Short Ribs (serves 6)
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 5 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 1 leek, well cleaned and diced – white parts only
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional – the short ribs will have lots of flavor without them, ditch ‘em if you can’t take the heat)
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup red wine
- 3 cups beef or chicken broth
- One 14.5-oz can fire roasted tomato puree (or chopped)
- 1 12-oz container fresh pico de gallo salsa
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped plus extra for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Just a quick note on the ribs. Butchers cut them all sorts of sizes. Mine cuts them SMALL. My family told me, in no uncertain terms, that I should have bought THREE per person, not the measly two that I gave them today. They get quite a bit smaller in the cooking process. Err on the side of buying more than you think you need. They make great leftovers.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch Oven. Brown the ribs on all sides on medium-high heat. Once browned, remove them and set them aside. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions, shallot, leek, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sauté on medium heat for five minutes. Add the Mexican oregano, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper. Sauté for five minutes. Add the flour. Stir quickly for 1 minute until the vegetables are coated well. Add the wine, beef broth, canned tomatoes and their juices, and the pico de gallo. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. The mixture should be thick. Add the salt, lemon juice, sugar and cilantro. Stir. Add back the ribs. Make sure the ribs are covered in sauce. Put a lid on your pot and place it in the center of your oven. Bake for 2 ½ hours. Don’t forget to set a LOUD timer. I get visions of Julie in Julie and Julia falling asleep and burning her beef bourguignon, poor dear. I check mine once halfway through. Stir everything GENTLY, just to make sure all the ribs are covered. Once your timer goes off (you did remember to set a timer, right) take the pot out of the oven. Turn the oven off. Get a flat spoon and skim all of the fat off of the top. Depending on how fatty they were – you may need to skim a LOT of fat off. I had a full cup of fat when I was done.
Serve the ribs over mashed potatoes or rice (potatoes, definitely potatoes). Spoon a generous portion of sauce on top of each serving. Sprinkle with cilantro. PERFECTION.