Taco Tuesdays call for margaritas and mariachi music. It’s one of our favorite excuses to bring everyone together and make great food during the week. After falling in love with our braised beef short ribs with rustic root vegetables, we decided to try a new take on our short rib and make them for tacos. This was a favorite. I am happy to say we were scraping the pans clean to make more tacos as the night went on.
When you have a table full of people over for dinner and everyone is silent, you know you’ve created something wonderful. These were delicious and required seconds. After making 3 lbs of short rib, I was surprised that we didn’t have a shred left when the night wound down and we were putting everything away. Currently while writing this, I wish I had two or three more sitting in front of me.
When it comes to Mexican food, I really enjoy combining crunchy vegetables, succulent meat, and spicy peppers. The flavor palette is really fun to play with and there are so many different ingredients you can throw in that can change your dish. For these tacos, we used our Poblano Corn Salad that we’ve made in the past for our Pork Belly Burnt End Rice Bowls. It added a great sweet and spicy quality that really complimented the meat.
Serves Six – 2.5-3 hours for cook – We are using the Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill for this cook with a mix of cherry and pecan pellets from BBQr’s Delight. You could also use hickory or maple for this cook as well.
- 3lbs short ribs (6 pieces)
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 poblano peppers, seeded, stemmed, and chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 serrano peppers, seeded, stemmed, and chopped
- 4 shishito peppers, seeded, stemmed, and choppped
- 1 7oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use whole can of peppers with sauce) – we like Embasa
- 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp thyme, leaves removed from stem
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 cups of beef stock
- 2 Mexican beers (we used 1 12oz Modelo Especial and 1 12oz Modelo Negra)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 leek stalk, chopped
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Remove your short ribs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature while you prep the BBQ
- Turn your Traeger on to smoke with the lid open, let the Traeger smoke until the fire is lit and then set the temperature to high. Let your grill preheat
- Lightly coat your short ribs with olive oil (the oil acts as a binder for your rub or seasoning); generously season your short ribs with smoked salt or kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a BBQ rub or smoked paprika.
- Place on Traeger and sear for 6-7 minutes on each side to brown your meat before braising
- **For this part, you can do on your stove or on your BBQ, either works** In a large oven safe pot or in a large dutch oven, combine olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, peppers, celery, shallot, leek, thyme, and bay leaves. Let your vegetables begin to brown.
- Once vegetables have begun to brown, add beef sock, adobo chilies and sauce, lime, and beer. Let your liquid reduce by 1/4 to half and come to a boil. Season with your salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika.
- Add your short ribs to your vegetable and liquid
- At this point, transfer your pot to the BBQ if you have been cooking your vegetables on the stove top.
- Tightly cover your pot with aluminum foil or an oven safe lid and braise your short ribs for about 2.5 to 3 hours at 350 until the meat becomes tender and is falling off the bone
- After 2.5-3 hours, remove your pot from the Traeger and let rest for 15-20 minutes
- Remove your short rib from the pot and strain liquid (we love serving the peppers and onion on the tacos!)
Poblano Corn Salad:
This recipe makes about 6-8 servings. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can add more ingredients if there is something you and your family really like. For extra heat, you can leave some of the seeds in.
- 2 poblano peppers, chopped with seeds removed
- 2 jalapenos, chopped with seeds removed
- 1 red onion
- 2 cans of fire roasted corn… normal canned corn will do (you can use fresh corn if you prefer… this is a great alternative if corn isn’t in season while you’re preparing)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 – 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper / chili powder (either works)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice (you can use the juice from 1 whole lime)
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- Optional: sometimes we like throwing a serrano pepper in here as well. We really like spice so this one is up to you.
- Optional: A few cherry tomatoes, quartered, or some chopped bell pepper also is a nice addition.
** We usually season to taste so we sprinkle a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It’s really up to you how much seasoning you put in your salsa.
- Warm oil in large skillet over high heat.
- Drain the water from your corn and place in your skillet with the poblano pepper, jalapeno, red onion, and garlic in your skillet. You want your veggies to start to soften and char. The peppers will become aromatic. This can take anywhere between 5-10 minutes.
- Add seasonings and squeeze of lime juice. This is entirely up to you how much you would like to add. We like to add a few dashes of this and a few dashes of that.
- Once all of your veggies have softened and browned in your skillet, remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
- Once your veggies have had a chance to cool for a few minutes, add chopped cilantro and mix.
Assembling Your Tacos
- 1/2 a head of Iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced / shredded
- 2 beefsteak tomatos, seeded and chopped
- Shredded Mexican cheese
- Flour and corn tortillas — warmed on the stove or grill
- Hot Sauce
- Anything else you’d like to add!