This was meant to be a recipe by a famous Australian chef / restauranteur – Peter Kuruvita, owner of Flying Fish and Noosa Beach House. I couldn’t find half the ingredients. So it ended up nothing like the original recipe. But it’s SO yummy and you can get everything you need at the grocery store! Note: there’s two recipes in here! One for the ribs, and another for the Green Mexican Rice.
I was corresponding with my friend Maureen from the Orgasmic Chef (pop over to follow her search for food that’s better than….well….you know….!). It was on a completely unrelated matter, but I happened to mention a recipe I wanted to make that day.
“I was reading your review of Noosa Beach House,” I wrote. “It inspired me to try out a recipe by Peter Kuruvita. I have some short ribs in the freezer, so I’m going to make these Mexican Braised Beef Short Ribs!”
“That looks fantastic. But where will you find cumquats and piloncillo?”, she asked.
“Oh, I won’t be be using those in this,” I said breezily. “You know me. I’ll make do. Put my own spin on it.”
I also didn’t have pinole or ancho chiles. So actually, this is nothing like the recipe I intended to make, but it turned out really delicious.
Being a dish I just made up on the fly, I thought I had better get friends to taste test it the next day. They approved, BUT I actually got constructive feedback!! (Rarely happens, my friends usually just say everything I make is yummy – liars!!). They loved the flavour and texture of the beef but thought it needed more kick.
So the next batch I made, I upped the fiery heat in it. Very happy with the outcome. 🙂
The base flavouring in this is Chipotle in Adobo Sauce (dried chilies in a spicy red sauce). It is to Mexican food what oyster sauce is to Asian food – just a dollop of it adds a wack of flavour that has depth (as opposed to, for example, soy sauce which is a fairly flat flavour).
I served this with Green Mexican Rice and I’ve provided the recipe for this below as well. Bright green rice with pops of yellow accompanied with fall apart beef ribs smothered in a thick, crimson sauce. Sights like that make me smile. 🙂
- 1/2 cup Chipotles in Adobo - chipotles and sauce (about half a 220g/7oz can) (Note 1)
- 28 oz / 800g can crushed tomato (or tomato passata / tomato puree)
- 2.4 kg beef short ribs , bone in (around 8 pieces, 10oz/300g each) (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp salt , separated
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 large onion , diced
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 3 dried bay leaves (or 5 fresh)
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 2 oranges (or 1 cup orange juice)
- Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges
Preheat oven to 180C with the shelf in the middle.
Puree the Chipotles in Adobo with the canned tomato ("Chipotle Puree"). (Note 3)
Pat the beef dry with a paper towel, then season with 1/2 tbsp salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a heavy based large fry pan over high heat. Add the beef in batches and sear on all sides until nicely browned, but not cooked through (about 4 minutes in total). Remove into a roasting dish (preferably one with a lid)
If the pan is looking dry, add a splash of oil. Add the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, then add the onion and cook for 3 minutes until the onion is starting to brown.
Add the Chipotle Puree and all the remaining ingredients into the pan (including the remaining 1/2 tbsp salt). Bring to simmer and scrape the bottom of the pan to mix all the brown bits into the liquid. Cook for 1 minute.
Pour the liquid into the roasting dish over the ribs.
Cover with lid (or with foil - use a double layer) and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove lid/foil, then return to oven for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour until the beef is "fall apart" and the sauce has thickened and darkened.
Let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, then serve with lime wedges on the side.
I served this with Mexican Green Rice with Corn (recipe below). This would also be great for tacos, burritos, on mashed potato.
1. Chipotles in Adobo Sauce is dried chipotles in a dark red flavoured sauce. It comes in a can and can be purchased at Harris Farm Markets (Australia) for around $3. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to a month.
The amount used creates a medium level spicy sauce. It won't blow your head off! Feel free to reduce if you are concerned.
2. Beef short ribs are very different to pork ribs. They come in a cube-like shape and each piece has plenty of meat on it. It is really good value. Here in Australia, it is much cheaper than pork ribs, about half the price.
Sometimes beef ribs will come attached, so you just need to cut them yourself into separate pieces. If you cook it as a rack, they will take slightly longer and also because they are so tender, they might not hold their shape when you try to cut them.
I like to make large quantities of this because it will fill a baking dish. Leftovers keep really well - though I do find the spiciness loses it's kick over time, so bear that in mind with leftovers.
3. Both the chili and sauce is used in this recipe. I puree it so the chipotle blends in, but you could just finely chop it.
4. Nutrition for Ribs - Nope, the ribs are not the healthiest dish in the world because beef ribs are a fatty cut of meat. To reduce the calories in this, just trim off as much of the excess fat as you can.
- 1/2 cup (packed) coriander/cilantro (mainly leaves, some stalk)
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh spinach leaves OR 1/3 cup thawed frozen spinach , squeezed of excess water
- 1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups long grain rice (Note 1)
- 2 cups frozen corn (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper
Place coriander/cilantro, spinach and broth in a food processor and whizz until pureed.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add rice and stir until the grains become translucent and are coated in oil. Add corn, contents of the food processor and remaining ingredients. Stir until combined.
Cover the pot. When it starts to simmer, turn the heat down to low and cook for 20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove from the stove and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
1. Brown, basmati and jasmine rice are the best substitutes, followed by medium grain rice. Short grain is too sticky for the dish but will be ok. It is not suited to risotto rice.
2. Make it vegan/vegetarian simply by substituting the broth with vegetable broth.
3. Nutrition for the Mexican Green Rice assuming 8 servings. The corn accounts for 30 calories.