Mexican Chili-Braised Short Ribs
Patience and technique are rewarded in this killer Mexican Chili Braised Short Rib recipe. The idea here is to take a tougher, less coveted and more affordable cut of meat, show it a lot of love and use minimal ingredients to showcase its naturally delicious flavour! This recipe is adapted from one of my all-time favorites from Bobby Flay. The paleo version, however, is best served on a bed of cilantro-chili-lime cauliflower rice (recipe on my YouTube channel) and with a big dollop of my Chipotle Guacamole (also on my YouTube channel). Make this dish for your friends and family and unleash your Primal Gourmet!
Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!
3-4 pounds grass-fed short ribs – backside membrane removed
2 dried Ancho chilies
2 dried Guajillo chilies
2 dried Cascabel chilies
2 dried Morita chilies
2 small onions (approx. 2 cups loosely packed) – sliced
7-8 cloves garlic – smashed and left whole
1 tbsp spicy Spanish paprika
1 tbsp smoky Spanish paprika
1 tbsp coriander powder
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp kosher salt
Sliced radishes for garnish
- Add the water and dried chilies to a small saucepan and bring everything to a low boil. Then, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover with a lid and let steep for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
- Place the ribs meat side down onto a butcher block or large cutting board. Using a sharp knife, peel back a corner of the membrane on the backside of the ribs. Using a paper towel, firmly grab hold of the membrane and peel it off of the bones trying to remove as much as possible. **If you flash a smile and ask nicely the wonderful butcher will do this for you!
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Drizzle 1/2 tbsp avocado oil in a large Dutch/French oven and set over med-high heat. Pat all sides of the ribs dry with a paper towel. Working in batches, brown all sides of the ribs until the edges form a golden brown crust and the meat starts to peel back from the bone. Do not add too much beef to the pot or the heat will drop and the beef will not brown properly. Once browned and a golden brown crust has formed around the edges of the ribs, transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
- Depending on the ribs, you may choose to remove all but 2 tbsp of rendered fat in the pot. Alternatively, if your ribs were on the lean side, add avocado oil to reach a total of 2 tbsp cooking fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the onions and garlic and season with a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions are slightly caramelized but not burnt. Approximately 6-8 minutes.
- Keeping an eye on the sautéing onions, get to work on the chilies. Reserving all of the chili-infused water, deseed and discard the stems of the chilies. Transfer the chilies to a blender or food processor along with all of the chili-infused water (careful to strain the stock for all loose seeds). Blend until it forms a smooth, rich and creamy consistency. Set aside for the moment.
- Once the onions and garlic have sautéed for approximately 6-8 minutes and are slightly caramelized, add in 1 tbsp spicy paprika, 1 tbsp smoky paprika, 1 tbsp coriander powder, and 1 tbsp kosher salt. Stirring constantly, toast the spices for 1 minute.
- Deglaze the pot with the blended chili puree, scraping off any brown-bits that have formed on the bottom and sides of the pot.
- Add in the browned ribs back to the pot along with all of the rendered juices that have formed at the bottom of the bowl. Also, add in the sprigs of fresh thyme and submerge them among the ribs. If there is not enough braising liquid to submerge the ribs, simp add more fresh water. The ribs should be submerged with only a few tips visible. Bring everything to a low boil then cover with a heavy, tight-fitting lid and transfer to the preheated oven set to 350F.
- Braise in the oven for 3 hours. To prevent the top ribs from drying-out or burning, carefully baste them with some of the liquid in the pot after each hour.
- Remove the ribs from the oven. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet or large bowl and allow to cool enough to be handle by hand. Once cooled, shred the meat by hand and discard the bones. Set aside.
- Transfer the braising liquid to a degreasing cup and allow to settle for 10-15 minutes until the rendered grease has settled on the top. Discard as much of the grease as possible. **If you do not have a degreasing cup, you can transfer the braising liquid to a salad bowl and skim the grease with a ladle.
- Return braising liquid back to the pot and set over low heat. Reduce the liquid by half and taste for seasoning, adjusting salt accordingly. Add the shredded meat back to the reduced sauce, toss to coat and remove from heat.
- Transfer to a serving dish or, for a more rustic approach, serve it directly from the pot. **Note: you can make this dish ahead of time and reheat over the stove before serving. The flavours will continue to develop in the fridge over night and it will taste even better the next day!