Fiery Mexican Beef Short Ribs - made with a Chipotles in Adobo sauce, it takes time to cook but is very fast to prepare. Great depth of flavour.
Print Recipe
5 from 32 votes

Fiery Fall Apart Mexican Beef Ribs

Fall apart beef short short ribs, smothered in a rich fiery sauce with an incredible depth of flavour. Though it takes time to cook, the prep is pretty fast. I accompanied this with Mexican Green Rice with Corn - recipe is below. The flavour of that rice is so incredible, you can eat it plain!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Baked, Braised
Cuisine: Mexican-esque
Servings: 8
Calories: 721kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 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.
Mexican Beef Short Ribs Chipotle Adobo Sauce Nutrition


Serving: 487g | Calories: 721kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.6g | Protein: 89.8g | Fat: 31.7g | Saturated Fat: 10.9g | Cholesterol: 275mg | Sodium: 1348mg | Potassium: 1531mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5.2g | Vitamin A: 1100IU | Vitamin C: 49.5mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 9.2mg