I recently catered a friend's wedding cocktail hour and came home with leftover fresh salsa verde and a case of beer and wine. There was a good deal at the store for beef back ribs, so I took some cues from a recent trip to Mexico and braised the hell out of those bad boys to wrap up some mean tacos. Marrying red wine and salsa verde sounds like it would be a recipe for something too acidic, but the flavors mellow out to a nice balance of sweet and tart- a great contrast to the tender, fatty rib meat. —chairmanhu
Cut the ribs so each piece has two bones. If you want, you can peel the membrane from the underside of the ribs, but I like to keep it there. Adds more textural contrast in my book.
Set the oven to 250 degrees F.
Salt the ribs and then sear them on all sides over high heat in a large skillet. Do this in batches if your pan isn't large enough. You don't want to crowd the pan. Place the seared ribs in a baking dish or shallow roasting pan that will fit all of them in a single layer.
Using the same skillet, turn the heat down to medium and add the onions and garlic. Stir around until the onions begin to brown.
Deglaze the pan by adding the red wine, turning the heat up to high, and stirring the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the flavorful browned bits. Then add the salsa verde and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
Pour the mixture over the ribs, cover, and then braise in the oven for 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender and falling off of the bones.
Remove the ribs from the braising liquid and allow to rest in a covered dish for 10 minutes.
Transfer the braising liquid to a pot and reduce to half its volume over high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot.
Slide the meat off the rib bones, roughly chop and then recombine with some of the reduced sauce to give them a nice shine, but not so much that it turns into a stew/soup.
Serve on pan toasted tortillas topped with fresh chopped onions and cilantro.