Nov 9, 2014

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Taco

Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

I’ve always liked taco’s—not the crispy version, though—but never really fell this much in love with them until I had my first bite of these.

Was flipping through my Tacolicious bible when I ran into this sentence: “These short ribs cooked slowly with Guajillos break down into the perfect braised meat: rich, a tad spicy, and appropriately messy—a true sign of greatness”. Try and resist that!

I was facing some obstacles on my road to the perfect Guajillo-braised beef taco though. First bump in the road was the beef short ribs and that’s really a problem because, well, it’s easier to find a 4-pound white truffle than it is to find a batch of beef short ribs over here. It’s just not a cut of beef you’re bound to run into.

Thank God I know people in high places and was so happy when Peter at OKvlees took it up with Slager ter Weele (Butcher) and together they got me my beef short ribs. Now that’s true love, people.

Then I went online and ordered the guajillo peppers. Being a guajillo virgin I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away. They’re deep-red, sweet (in an raisin-like way) and shiny peppers with a medium-heat and an almost berry like flavour. Very earthy and highly addictive.

Sure, we do have Mexican restaurants in the Netherlands but somehow cooking Mexican food at home hasn’t really gotten off the ground. Classic chicken and egg situation: is it because we can barely get our hands on authentic Mexican ingredients or because there are no ingredients to be found that we don’t cook Mexican food at home?

That really needs to change because once you take a bite from this taco, you’ll be hooked for life.

 

Ingredients:

4 pounds beef short ribs (bone-in)
8 Guajillo peppers
2 chipotle peppers (mine were in adobo)
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cup beef bouillon (or a 12 oz bottle dark Mexican beer)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp Mexican broken leaf oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp powder)
2/3 tbsp kosher salt (half this amount when using regular salt)
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp oil
Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving

 

Toppings of your choice:

iceberg lettuce
salsa
cheddar
sour cream
avocado
cilantro
lime
(in short: whatever makes your skirt fly up)

 

Directions:

Remove the stems and open up the guajillo peppers at the side so you can remove the seeds. I used scissors.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

There they are. Loved their color.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Toast the peppers in a dry, hot skillet (I used my cast iron skillet) for about 30 seconds on each side. They’ll turn even deeper red. Set them aside.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Tadaaaaaaaa! Gorgeous, right? I cut them in big chunks. Leave the bone in!
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Big bowl full of perfect beef chunks. I’m so easy to please.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

The recipe called for 2 dried chipotles. Didn’t have ‘em. Decided to use chipotles in adobo sauce and it worked like a charm.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Chop a pretty big onion or two smaller ones.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid and brown the meat all around.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Until they look like this. Brown all the beef this way and keep it on a plate nearby.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Cook the onions for 4 to 5 minutes until brown. Squeeze in the garlic, cook for 1 more minute and pour in the beef bouillon.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

 
The original recipe called for dark Mexican beer, but that was the one thing I really couldn’t find. Decided to skip the beer and use beef bouillon in stead and it was delicious. Keep in mind that when you add beer, you should up the salt to 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt (or half of that when using regular salt).
 

Add the guajillo peppers to the pan.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

And the chipotles.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Bring it to a boil and let it simmer uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes, until the peppers are soft and pliable.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Transfer everything to a blender and add 1/2 cup water, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp broken leaf oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp ground oregano powder, as I do), the salt and blitz.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Check out that sauce!! It looks good enough to eat with a spoon. Such a rich flavour and nice amount of heat.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Transfer the beef back to the pan.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Pour in that gorgeous Guajillo sauce.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

This is pretty much where I fell madlessly in love with this dish. Anything that looks like this cannot possibly be bad.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Make sure all the beef is covered with sauce.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

 
Place the Dutch oven (with the lid on) in a preheated oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours at 160Cº (325Fº) while stirring now and then. I checked every 30 minutes. For me 3 1/2 hours was enough.
 

After 1 hour.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

After 2 hours.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

After 3 1/2 hours. The meat was so tender! Check the seasoning and add some salt if need be.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Lord have mercy on me.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Use two tongs or forks to pull the meat apart. I wish you could taste this. Or even just smell it.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Discard the bones.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

And there you have it… in all its glory.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

 
I like to go all out (and I mean ALL out) and top my tortillas with lettuce, a generous amount of beef, finely chopped onion, salsa, avocado and cheddar and a squirt of lime juice. Oh, and perhaps just a tiny drop of sour cream… or two.
 

There are no words to describe just how good these are.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

To say they were a huge hit is an understatement.
Guajillo-Braised Beef Shirt Rib Taco

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Taco
Ingredients
    4 pounds beef short ribs (bone-in)
    8 Guajillo peppers
    2 chipotle peppers (mine were in adobo)
    1 large onion
    2 garlic cloves
    1 1/2 cup beef bouillon (or a 12 oz bottle dark Mexican beer)
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 1/2 tbsp Mexican broken leaf oregano (or 1 tsp powder)
    2/3 tbsp kosher salt (half this amount when using regular salt)
    1/2 cup water
    3 tbsp oil
    Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
     
    Toppings of your choice:
     
    iceberg lettuce
    salsa
    cheddar
    sour cream
    avocado
    cilantro
    lime

Directions
    Remove the stems and open up the guajillo peppers at the side so you can remove the seeds. I used scissors. If you use dried chipotle peppers, seed those as well. Toast the peppers in a dry, hot skillet (I used my cast iron skillet) for about 30 seconds on each side. They’ll turn even deeper red. Set them aside. Turn the beef into big chunks but leave the bone in.

    Chop a pretty big onion or two smaller ones. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid and brown the meat all around. Brown all the beef and store on a plate. Cook the onions for 4 to 5 minutes until brown. Squeeze in the garlic, cook for 1 more minute and pour in the beef bouillon.

    The original recipe called for dark Mexican beer, but that was the one thing I really couldn’t find. Decided to skip the beer and use beef bouillon in stead and it was delicious. Keep in mind that when you add beer, you should up the salt to 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt (or half of that when using regular salt).

    Add the guajillo and chipotle peppers, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes, until the peppers are pliable. Transfer everything to a blender and add 1/2 cup water, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp broken leaf oregano (or 1 1/2 tsp ground oregano powder, as I do), the salt and blitz. Transfer the beef back to the pan and pour in the guajillo sauce, combine well. Place the Dutch oven (with the lid on) in a preheated oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours at 160Cº (325Fº) while stirring now and then. I checked every 30 minutes. For me 3 1/2 hours was enough.

    Once done you use two tongs or forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the bones. Check the seasoning and add salt when needed. Serve with tortillas and toppings of choice.

Meal type: Taco’s, Mexican
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

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    13 Comments »

    1. 1

      The Netherlands! So honored that my cookbook made it all the way there. Thank you for the amazing blog post and so glad to find that you enjoyed it. I wish I could send you some of La Palma’s amazing corn tortillas made here in SF. If you’re ever around, make sure to come visit our restaurants! Thank you, thank you.

      sara deseran on Nov 10, 2014 @ 5:05 am Reply
      1. I love your book! Want to cook everything in it :)

        Kay on Nov 10, 2014 @ 8:48 am Reply
    2. 2

      Oh boy, these look good Kay! I’ve been having some serious Mexican food cravings lately. Luckily we have an amazing Oaxacan restaurant on walking distance – they have the best guacamole, I always order the quac with taquitos.
      I’ll be on the lookout for guajillo’s. Never heard of them and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

      Ellen - in my Red Kitchen on Nov 10, 2014 @ 5:43 am Reply
    3. 3

      Kay, these look amazing, here in Australia its really hard to get Mexican stuff too. Although the best mexican I have ever had was from a place in Leeuwarden! Im going to order the guajillos online with the chipotle and make these soon. Will look in to the cookbook as well. Sounds interesting. Thanks again!

      Anna on Nov 10, 2014 @ 10:22 am Reply
    4. 4

      Kay,

      Short ribs can be braised in a pressure cooker cutting the time down to about 45 minutes instead of using a Dutch oven to braise for 3 ½ hours. A pressure cooker cuts approximately 70% off the regular cooking time and retains more vitamins and minerals.

      In Hawaii because our average 365 daily temperature is 78 F degrees I cook with an European induction stove (90% more efficient than gas or electric) with convection oven and pressure cookers 4L & 6L size (70% faster cooking) so as not to heat up my kitchen and not spend more than 30 minutes to cook a meal.

      Ken on Nov 12, 2014 @ 3:50 am Reply
    5. 5

      Making these tomorrow….very excited ! I’ve had those guajillo peppers in my cupboard for ages, just waiting for the right recipe!!

      Roisin on Nov 20, 2014 @ 10:28 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Hoi Kay, zou je deze Ribs eventueel ook kunnen garen in de slowcooker, ipv in een dutch oven in de oven? En waar bestelde jij de pepers? Ik ga eens aan mijn slager vragen of ik daar short ribs kan krijgen. Ik denk haast van wel, hij zegt altijd als ik het van te voren weet, dan kan ik zowat alles leveren ;-)

      Groetjes simone

      Simone Scheffer on Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:40 am Reply
      1. Ja, absoluut! Deze zijn geweldig voor in een slow cooker. Dat is mijn plan ook voor de volgende keer.

        Ik heb de pepers gekocht bij mexworld.nl, maar pas op; hij rekent een ‘fee’ van €3,50 voor orders onder de €15, en daar komen de verz. kosten ook nog eens bovenop. Best raar.

        Kay on Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:00 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Hi! As an American in the Netherlands, it’s great to see a Dutch person with a passion for Mexican food!

      This recipe looks great. I have some dried guajillo peppers to use, so I’d love to make it. I know an excellent butcher, so I’m pretty sure I can get the short ribs, but I’m curious what they are called in Dutch? Thanks!

      Marie on Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:46 pm Reply
      1. There’s not really a name for them in Dutch because it’s a very undutch cut of beef!

        Kay on Dec 10, 2014 @ 1:04 pm Reply
        1. Heh, ok, I’ll just try to explain it…

          Marie on Dec 10, 2014 @ 1:32 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Omg…. I love love love mexican food. We cook mexican at home here at least twice a week (from simple nachos to authentic tamales). I am going straight to mexworld to order these ingredients and then to amazon to get this cookbook….. yumm!! Thanks for sharing!

      Stacey on Jan 21, 2015 @ 10:52 pm Reply
    9. 9

      I had to abandon all hope of making these this week. Looks like I have some hunting to do for the ribs and the peppers :(

      Albert Heijn doesn’t really like my translation effort so I will try the butcher!

      Farrah on Sep 20, 2015 @ 10:50 am Reply

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