I’ve found that you shouldn’t ask someone if they like something you’ve cooked. If they like it then they’ll tell you without being prompted. If they don’t, well then they have to politely nod and raise their voice while saying, “yes, it’s good” or they tell you there are too many onions and they don’t like onions.
The latter happened the first time I made Marc dinner. He ate the steak tacos and then when our heads were turned, bad dog Sophie jumped from the couch to the counter and finished off the steak, so I was ready to bask in compliments when I asked what he thought.
“Umm it’s good but I don’t really like onions.”
“Onions, what does that matter? These are steak tacos, not onion tacos.”
“Yeah, but there’s a lot of raw onion in this.”
Oh. Yea, there kinda was. I didn’t think of it when I was making each component separately but thinly sliced red onions accompanied cabbage that was tossed in a green onion dressing for slaw and the guacamole was heavy on the avocado but diced onion was folded liberally into the soft green cubes. I guess that could be a lot of onion wrapped in a tortilla.
Point taken, do over demanded. And what else was I gonna do when there was 2 1/2 feet of snow falling outside last weekend. Like every other sane person I spent my pre-blizzard time shopping for essentials: beer and more beer. I eyed this grapefruit IPA while the checkout line wrapped around the liquor store and knew it needed to be in my basket. Paired with some boneless short ribs that also required a 20 minute wait in line, a snow cooking project was found. And why not take a mental trip south of the border with short rib tacos while snowpocalypse is happening outside.
I am happy to guzzle a million coronas or my fair share of margaritas while dipping into some Mexican food so I wanted to really highlight the citrus in the beer and pair it with some spice-tinged beef. I put together a spice rub made up from the odds and ends of varying levels of heat in my pantry and coated the short ribs before searing them off in a dutch oven.
I can’t swear off onions completely so I soften sliced onions and a few cloves off garlic and then deglazed with the beer and chicken stock, and dropped in a chipotle pepper that lived most of its life in adobo sauce. To punch up the citrus in the beer, the zest and juice of a large lime are the final topping before the short ribs take a trip to the oven for 3 hours to soften and braise in the boozy liquid. To serve, fold some of the meat in a soft tortilla and top with your favorite slaw and slices of avocado. If you’re not onion-averse then the slivers of onions that braised with the meat are a great topper for these short rib tacos.
- 1tbs coarse kosher salt
- 1tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1 3/4 lbs of boneless short ribs or other meat that takes well to braising (If you can only find bone-in meat then up the amount another pound to account for the weight of the bones)
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 bottle of a citrusy IPA
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 large lime
- For the spice rub combine the first seven ingredients and mix thoroughly
- Heat a large dutch oven or other ovenproof pot over medium heat
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Coat the short ribs with the spice rub, be generous but make sure you have at least 1 tsp left over. You'll add that to meat later
- Brown the meat in 1 tbs of vegetable oil. Be patient and don't rush the browning. Each side of the short ribs should take at least 5 minutes to build up a crispy brown exterior
- Remove the short ribs and put aside on a plate
- Drop the heat to medium low and add 1 cup of sliced onions and 5 cloves of garlic and the chipotle pepper and reserved teaspoon of spice rub
- Stir frequently for a few minutes to soften the onions and pick up the brown bit from the bottom of the pot
- Deglaze the pot with your bottle of beer and simmer for a few minutes so some of the beer burns off
- Nestle the beef back in the pot and add enough chicken stock to almost cover the meat, this was about 2 cups for me
- Zest and juice a large lime, adding the zest and juice to the meat
- Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and braise in the oven for 3 hours, checking every hour or so to make sure there is enough liquid for the meat to stew in (If you're lid isn't tight-fitting then you might have to add some more chicken stock if too much is evaporating)
- To serve: Shred the beef and toss in the braising liquid. Serve with tortillas, slaw, avocado and lime wedges