Red Chile Short Rib Tacos

Okay.  These are seriously the best tacos I’ve ever made.  Michelle, Lindsey and I went to Tacolicious on Chestnut Street in the Marina a few weeks ago, and I had a short rib taco that was crazy delicious — even with limited taste buds.  This recipe is from Bobby Flay — and every recipe I’ve ever made of his has been spectacular.  It’s worth it to search out a variety of chiles for the depth of flavor.  His recipe uses cascabel chiles which I couldn’t find — so I used ancho (my fave), guajillo (the ones used at Tacolicious) and New Mexico.

I know the recipe seems long, but it was a piece of cake.  Don’t leave out the pickled red onions — super good! Sorry for the lame photo — I was really hungry.


  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried New Mexico chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 dried cascabel chile peppers, stemmed and seeded (or a combination of chiles of your choice — I like guajillo)
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 16 tortillas and some of that Kraft parmesan cheese that comes in the green containers — I know, I know — but trust me on this.
  • Cilantro, cotija cheese, pickled red onions (recipe follows)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the short ribs dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the short ribs on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove to a plate.

Meanwhile, combine the stock and dried chiles in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep, 15 minutes.

Discard all but 3 tablespoons oil from the Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Pour in the red wine and port and simmer, stirring, until almost completely reduced, about 12 minutes. Add the thyme and chile-stock mixture; bring to a simmer and return the short ribs to the pot. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is tender, about 2 hours, 30 minutes.


Remove the short ribs to a bowl; shred the meat from the bone. I didn’t have a lot of cooking liquid left — maybe only half a cup — but if you have more, here’s Bobby’s next direction:  Strain the cooking liquid into a degreasing cup and pour off the excess fat. Pour the remaining liquid into a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the meat and toss to coat.

Fry the tortillas in canola oil, folding in half after they have softened — cooking until they are crispy.  Sprinkle with the Kraft parmesan — it’s really good, so do it!

Fill the taco shells with the meat; top with cilantro, pickled onions and cotija cheese. Eat ’em up.  DELISH!!


Pickled Red Onions:

Bring 3/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup each red wine vinegar and sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and let cool, 5 minutes. Toss with 1 thinly sliced red onion in a bowl; cover and chill at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.


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