Tacos aren't usually made with short ribs, but their ultra-beefy flavor really make them an excellent choice.
To achieve flavorful browning, raise the beef up out of the braising liquid by resting it on onion rounds. The ribs will brown just enough for this dish.
Next, create a braising liquid that will become the base for the rojo sauce. Beer and cider vinegar add depth and brightness, and tomato paste boosts the savory flavor. Smoky-sweet ancho chiles give the sauce a spicy kick.
Once the beef has finished cooking, puree the braising liquid into a sauce with a smooth, luxurious consistency.
Top with tangy coleslaw to add a fresh crunch.
Shredded Beef Tacos
Makes 6-8 servings
1½ cups beer
4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large onion, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 325 F. Combine beer, anchos, vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, cloves and cinnamon in Dutch oven. Arrange onion rounds in single layer on bottom of pot. Place beef on top of onion rounds in single layer. Cover and cook until meat is well browned and tender, 2½ to 3 hours.
2. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to large bowl, cover loosely with aluminum foil and set aside. Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer into 2-cup liquid measuring cup (do not wash pot). Discard onion rounds and bay leaves. Transfer remaining solids to blender. Let strained liquid settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat from surface. Add water as needed to equal 1 cup. Pour liquid into blender with reserved solids and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer sauce to now-empty pot.
3. Using 2 forks, shred beef into bite-size pieces. Bring sauce to simmer over medium heat. Add beef and stir to coat. Season with salt to taste. (Beef can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; gently reheat before serving.)
4. Spoon small amount of beef into each warm tortilla and serve, passing slaw, queso fresco and lime wedges separately.