Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles (Costillas de Res con Chile de Árbol)

I remember my grandma frequently buying short ribs – they used to be inexpensive. Now, they are trendy and not as economical, but still less expensive than steak or tenderloin, which makes this meal a bit more affordable when wanting to share a rich meal on a budget.

All you need is some short ribs, a few arbol chiles, homemade or canned red chile sauce, beef broth, beer, and voila you have an amazing dinner that practically makes itself. Arbol chiles are long and skinny and look similar to Thai chiles and are quite spicy, so only a few are needed in this recipe.

There is something especially delicious about a dish that takes hours to cook and these braised beef short ribs do not disappoint. These flavorful short ribs perfectly illustrate how braised meat cooked on the bone can turn out succulent and tender enough to cut with a fork.

Braising is a simple technique that allows you to transform inexpensive, tough cuts of beef into tender and delicious meals. Braising involves slow cooking and simmering in a rich sauce for a period of several hours.

Spicy and smoky, these tender beef ribs are rich with a malty depth and classic Mexican flavors.

Serve these ribs with flour tortillas and grilled green onions for a hearty meal to feed a whole family.

Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles (Costillas de Res con Chile de Árbol)

Spicy and smoky, these tender beef ribs are rich with a malty depth and classic Mexican flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • Salt and black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 ½ cups homemade Red Chile Sauce or 1 (28-ounce) can Las Palmas red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) amber beer
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Generously sprinkle the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay the short ribs on the grill or large skillet on the stovetop and sear on all sides, until richly browned, 4 or 5 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large (7- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chiles and toast for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly so chiles are fried well and change color.
  4. Add onion and garlic and fry for 2 minutes, again stirring constantly.
  5. Transfer fried ingredients to a food processor or blender and add red chile sauce. Puree until smooth with specks of chiles.
  6. Return the sauce to the Dutch oven and add beer, broth, sauce, salt, and pepper. Place the short ribs and juices to the pan, nestling them into the liquid.
  7. Set up grill for indirect grilling. Set the pot in the center of the grill and cook until the short ribs are fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  8. Carefully remove short ribs to a serving platter. Taste sauce and season with additional salt if necessary, and ladle it over ribs.

Oven Alternative:

  • Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 2 ½ hours.
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Recipe developed for Las Palmas Sauces. Opinions are my own.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston