Thursday, January 27, 2011

Short Rib Tacos

This past weekend I was watching Barefoot Contessa do he thing in the kitchen, and she was talking about her love affair with high-low foods. I absolutely loved this idea, taking something fancy, gourmet, and expensive, and adding it to something typically made with cheaper, common ingredients, bringing the food off it's pedestal and back to us common folk. Later, at Wegmans, I happened to see the most perfect and beautiful looking short ribs, so I bought them. When planning my slow cooker madness, I remembered what Ina had said, and decided these short ribs were just meant to be tacos. And they were. The pictures didn't come out as fantastically as I hoped, but I simply had to share this with you, because this is, in my opinion the most delicious and best thing I have ever cooked. I am being serious. I cannot ever remember a meal I've made being so delicious, so incredible, so amazingly perfect. For a slow cooker meal, this is more work than I typically like, but it is totally and completely worth it. So make a batch and enjoy.

For the Short Ribs:
1/2 tbsp oil
1-1.5 lbs of boneless short ribs
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of chili powder

For the cooking sauce:
1 red pepper
1/2 onion
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of sherry
4 cloves of garlic
1 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1/4 lemon, juice
3 whole peeled plum tomatoes (canned), plus 1 tbsp of their juices

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Rub the short ribs with salt, pepper and chili powder. Brown the ribs on each side (all 4) for 2 minutes. Transfer ribs to the bowl of a slow cooker. Dice the onion and red pepper and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. In the meantime in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, chili powder and corn starch. When the onions have softened, add the sherry to the pan, and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Add in the soy sauce mixture and cook stirring until the sauce thickens slightly, about 30 seconds. Transfer contents of pan into a food processor or blender. Add the ginger, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes, and tomato juice and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Up to this point can be done the night before, just refrigerate the slow cooker bowl over night, and cook the next morning. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or according to the directions of your slow cooker. After cooking, remove the ribs from the slow cooker and transfer to a bowl. Shred the meat with two forks (this will be very easy to do). Ladle the cooking liquid to another bowl for serving, if desired. Serve the ribs with taco fixings (listed at bottom) and salsa verde.

Salsa Verde:
6 medium tomatillos, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
1 jalapeño
1/4 large red onion
1/2 a lime, zested and juiced
salt, pepper

In a small pot, over high heat, cook the tomatillos and garlic until they are soft, about 7 minutes. Drain the pot of the liquid and add tomatillos and garlic to a blender or food processor. Add red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Puree until smooth. Add the lime juice and zest and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. This makes a lot of salsa, serve some with the tacos and keep the rest for chips and salsa snacking later on.

Taco Fixings and assembly:
Small flour tortillas
Sour Cream
Queso Blanco/ Queso Fresco
Diced red onion
Salsa verde
Lime wedges

Queso Blanco (Queso fresco is very similar), in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a delicious mild soft/crumbly Mexican cheese. It has a nice salty bite, and is really just delicious. It's great with these tacos and also with guacamoles.

Heat the tortillas on a hot pan on both sides. Add a scoop of meat to the tortilla, then sprinkle with onion, salsa verde, cheese, and a squeeze of lime. Serve with sour cream for dipping (or on it). Enjoy the insane high-low deliciousness!

Happy Eating.



  1. hi Lindsey

    those short rib taco's sound delicious! You did a great job with the taco meat, it looks perfect, I love shredded meat in taco's, its much better than using ground......your salsa verde is a perfect compliment.
    Now I want taco's!

  2. What great flavors you have here. I don't have a slow cooker but I can definitely make this recipe in my Dutch oven.

  3. I could drink salsa verde all day long and NEVER get tired of it! Great dish!

  4. We are supposed to get 3 inches of snow and ice here tonight into tomorrow. You can bet I am the crazy one who is going the store to get some short ribs in that mess to try this!

  5. Man, do those look delicious! Mouth watering, right now! :-p I love tacos. For real!


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