You don't have to wait until Tuesday to enjoy delectable short rib tacos. With a little planning, patience and handful of fresh ingredients you can eat like it's a warm and sunny weekend any day of the week. Some days you just have to go the extra mile to get to your destination...
Short Rib Barbacoa Tacos with mango, pickled onion, avocado, cilantro, crema and sriracha. Tender meat, cooked slow, shredded and returned to its juices then balanced with sweet mango and bright flavors that taste like summertime.
Short Rib Barbacoa Tacos
Beef Barbacoa Ingredients:
4 to 4 ½ pounds beef short rib, bone-in 1 tbsp cooking oil 1 tbsp whole cumin seed 1 tbsp dried Oregano 4 large garlic cloves 1 to 2 whole chipotle, plus 2 tsp adobo sauce Juice of 1 lime 1 large, sweet onion, thinly sliced 4 cups beef stock Salt and pepper to taste
1 32oz package corn tortillas
2 large ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
Tajin spice (chili-lime seasoning)
Pickled red onion (see recipe below)*
Cotija cheese, grated (substitute queso blanco)
Mexican crèma (substitute sour cream)
Sriracha (yellow or red)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
3 limes, cut into segments for serving.
In a deep cast iron pan or Dutch oven, over medium to high flame, heat cooking oil and sear the short ribs on all sides until nicely charred all over.
While meat is cooking, in a mortar and pestle grind cumin and dried oregano until fine. Add garlic cloves and break down until garlic forms a paste. Add 1 or 2 whole chipotle peppers and grind into spice mixture. Mix into paste additional adobo sauce, lime juice and season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Once short ribs have achieved a nice crust, rove from pan and set aside. In the rendered fat, add sliced onions and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add spice paste to onions and continue to cook an additional 3 minutes while stirring.
Return short ribs to pan, bone-side up and add enough stock until meat is submerged. Bring stock to a boil. Once liquids are rapidly bubbling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until fork tender.
When desired tenderness is achieved, turn of heat and let sit until liquids have cooled. About an hour. Once cooled, remove short ribs and set aside. Skim off excess fat that has collected at the surface of the liquid and discard. Return liquid to medium-low heat and reduce to half its original volume and sauce has thickened. About 20 minutes.
While sauce is rendering, remove all bones and connective tendons from short ribs and discard. With your hands or a fork, pull apart the meat. Return shredded beef to reduced liquids and simmer for additional 5 to 10 minutes.
To assemble your tacos, in a dry skillet over medium heat, toast both side of two corn tortillas to warm them. About 2 to 3 minutes per side. Stack your tortillas to double them and add about 3 oz of barbacoa beef. Top with avocado slices, diced mango and season with tajin. Add pickled onion, cotija cheese and drizzle with crèma and sriracha if using. Lastly top with some fresh cilantro sprigs and a squeeze of lime juice. Repeat the process to assemble more tacos.
~Serves six to eight
Pickled Red Onion Ingredients:
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced thin
¼ cup red wine or cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave syrup (substitute honey)
Salt and pepper to taste
*To make pickled red onions, in a sealable container add sliced onions, vinegar, agave and season with salt and pepper. Seal and shake container until onions are coated and set aside. Let onions sit for at least 30 minutes to soften. Onions can be stored for a up to a week. The longer it sits, the softer the onions become.
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