It’s starting to really feel like fall and I was craving some hearty Mexican-style dinner for tonight. I stopped by DJ’s Butcher Block in Bloomfield on my way home from my client’s to pick up some skirt or flank steak to use for fajitas but no dice – they’re waiting on a delivery and didn’t have any. Not to be deterred, I picked up some short ribs and rolled with it.
This is a good option if you’re doing a Paleo diet but since we’re not, I’ll be serving this up over rice with some black beans and fresh avocado. You could also go with tortillas but the rice is great for soaking up the yummy sauce. This would also make a great crock pot recipe – just follow the recipe through browning the meat and vegetables, throw it all in the crock pot with a cup or so of beef broth and cook on low for 8 hours. Don’t be tempted to skip the browning process – it really helps bring out the flavor.
Mexican Braised Short Ribs (Serves 4)
- 2-3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin slices
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- Salt, pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and heat an oven-proof deep skillet or dutch oven over medium-high. Add the olive oil and brown the ribs on all sides. You can chop the veggies while the ribs are browning. Once they have a nice crust, remove them and drain all but about 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add the cumin seeds and stir for about 30 seconds until they sizzle and pop. Add the peppers, onion and garlic and sauté until they start to soften – let them sit to start to brown before stirring. Add the chopped tomato, paprika and chipotle powder and stir, cooking until tomato softens. Add the tomato paste and beef broth and stir until combined. Return the beef to the pan and heat until the liquid begins to simmer. The broth should come about half way up the sides of the meat – use more or less as necessary depending on the size of your pan. Cover the pan and place it in the preheated oven for about 3 hours. Flip the ribs over halfway through the process and add a little more broth or water if needed.
Remove the cover from the pan for the last 30 minutes to let the sauce reduce. The meat is done when it’s fork-tender but not totally falling apart. For a thicker sauce, remove the meat when it’s done and further reduce the braising liquid on the stove top over medium heat.
Note: You can also do this other cuts of meat (chuck roast, flank steak, pork shoulder) – just cut the meat into manageable pieces and follow the same process.