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Author Notes: I developed this Mexican-inspired braise about two years ago using a chuck roast. When done, I shredded the meat and wrapped it in tortillas. It was delicious but I thought I could tweak it further and hit on the idea of adding some orange peel and some cocoa powder. However, I didn't have another chuck roast but I did have some short ribs so I used them. Much better than the chuck because the bones contribute to the sauce. You can still shred the meat and stuff it in tortillas, but I prefer serving them on polenta. Make this a day in advance if you can. The flavors deepen and it's easier to get rid of the excess fat after sitting in the fridge. - Kevin —Kevin
Food52 Review: If it's cold and sleeting outside and one of you is longing for comfort food while the other is hoping to forget that it's winter with something spicy and south-of-the-border, then look no further than these ribs. The tender, falling apart meat is suffused with smokey and zesty flavors from the clever Mexican-style braise, and gives it a subtle warmth. With corn tortillas, a big squirt of lime and a sprinkling of cilantro, the ribs are almost fiesta worthy. Then all you have to do to switch it up is nestle them on a bed of creamy polenta and suddenly you'll have a hearty, sit by the fire and watch the snowflakes fall supper. —fiveandspice
- 8 English-style short ribs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 small yellow onion; chopped
- 1/4 medium bell pepper (any color); chopped
- 2 cloves garlic; chopped
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 3 strips orange peel without pith
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons ground passilo chile
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotles
- 1 teaspoon ground New Mexico chile
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Heat oven to 275 degrees.
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper and heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown ribs brown on all sides in batches of three. Set ribs aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and sauté onions and peppers until translucent using additional oil if needed. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Increase heat to medium-high, add beef stock and deglaze pan by scraping up browned bits.
- Stir in tomato sauce and then stir in remaining ingredients. Return ribs to pot and bring to a vigorous simmer.
- Cover pot and place in center of oven. Cook 1 hour, taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Turn ribs over roast and cook 1 hour longer. Turn and cook 1/2 hour more.
- At this point you can serve the ribs, but I prefer to refrigerate the pot overnight, then peel off the fat the next day and gently rewarm on the stove top.