I can’t even bang on enough about how much I love my Breville slow cooker or crockpot as the ‘Americans like to call it. It is the most wonderful appliance to have in your kitchen, especially in winter. It delivers amazing flavour and texture to your food with minimal effort. You just need to plan ahead and allow the time for slow cooking.
For this recipe, I wanted to braise short ribs with Mexican flavours. I decided on a 4.5-hour braise on high – but it would work well on a 6 -7-hour braise on low. I am unsure which is the better route to go. With my hoisin and ginger beer pulled pork I cooked a shoulder for 8 hours on slow, but these short ribs were a little thinner and I browned them before. They cook until they are pull-apart delicious and work perfectly when the juicy shredded meat is added to a taco. You could also serve the short ribs with steaming jasmine or Basmati rice, mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.
I have kept this recipe quite mild but you can always add additional pickled jalapeno chillies when you make them up. There are no rules when it comes to taco accompaniments. I love a good dollop of creme fraiche with these short ribs. Fresh coriander (cilantro) and sliced avocado or guacamole are delicious. You could add a tomato and red onion salsa or chopped up lettuce to give additional crunch. A spritz of fresh lime gives the taco a zesty wake-up call, and a few chopped up red spring onions a little bite.
The coke adds sweetness, the orange juice acidity and the beef stock meaty flavour.
* Cooks notes ~ Short ribs can be very fatty, and you will see below that I employ a method I use in my food styling to remove excess oil. Paper towels. You could also cool the meat and sauce in the fridge overnight and then pick off the solid fat that forms on the surface, then reheat the meat and sauce. This is the perfect dish to make ahead of time and feed a crowd.
Recipe – Serves 6
Mexican short rib tacos made in a crockpot
- 1.5 kg short ribs cut into strips about 3 - 4cm in width
- splash of olive oil for browning
- 1 410 gm tin of peeled and chopped tomatoes
- 250 ml 1 cup beef stock
- 250 ml 1 cup coke
- 250 ml 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 -2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce finely chopped (2 Tbsp)
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp origanum
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 Tbsp miso paste optional
- salt and pepper
To serve (whatever you choose):
- soft flour tortillas or flour tacos - quantity as desired
- fresh cilantro/coriander
- creme fraiche or sour cream
- chopped red scallions/spring onions
- sliced avocado or guacamole
- lime wedges
- Season the short ribs well with salt and pepper. Heat a small splash of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the short ribs in batches on all sides. They can be quite fatty, so I like to render off some of the fat at this stage. Set aside.
- Heat your slow cooker to high. Add all the other ingredients to the cooking bowl, and add the browned short ribs. Ensure they are submerged in the liquid.
- Cook with the lid on for 4.5 - 5 hours on high.
- Turn the slow cooker off and allow the fat to settle on the stop. I place two layers of kitchen paper over the surface, allow it to soak up the oil and then discard. I repeat this three times and until most of the oil has been removed.
- Remove the ribs and allow to cool. When ready to handle pull the meat off the bone and discard any visible fat and sinew. Pour the liquid into a medium pot or saucepan and cook-off to reduce it by half.
- Pour the sauce over the shredded short rib meat and serve warm.
* This post has been sponsored by Breville South Africa. Breville appliances are exclusively available at @Home nationwide.