Whenever Josie and I get together, we know we are going to be cooking together. For whatever reason, we feel the need to front like we might actually make something other than Mexican food. After some hemming and hawing, we eventually get real and just decide which type of tacos and which type of margaritas we will be making this time. Last time she visited me, we invited three of my other best friends over and it was a pretty perfect night. My best girls, dranks (yeah, not drinks), and really incredible tacos. We made two types that evening and both were amazing, but these guajillo-braised short rib tacos were unforgettable.

I mean it. I think about them almost daily. If short ribs weren’t such a splurge, I would make them every week. I truly adore this recipe. I have made them once since our spectacular night and I’m already feeling the itch again. We started our kitchen remodel this week so I won’t be making them at home any time soon, but if any Indy friends want to volunteer their kitchen for a few hours, I’ll be over with margarita supplies and dinner ready in about 4 hours. This is the best kind of recipe for cooking with those you love because the downtime during braising means you can lazily make guacamole, sip margaritas, make tortillas – just really take time to enjoy the process and time together. And then, in a few hours, enjoy some bad ass short rib tacos that will be the stuff of dreams for weeks to come.


  • 8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2-4 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle dark Mexican beer, such as Negro Modelo
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • 1½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup water
  • Fresh tortilla, for serving
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Chopped onion, for serving
  • Sliced avocado, for serving
  • Salsa and/or sour cream, for serving


  • 01

    Heat the oven to 325˚ F. Working in batches, in a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the dried chiles about 30 seconds on each side until fragrant but not blackened. Press down gently with a spatula to help the chile make contact with the pan if necessary. Set aside the toasted chiles.

  • 02

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the short ribs in batches to avoid overcrowding. Sear for about 3 minutes on each side, until they have a uniformly browned crust. Add more oil if needed to prevent scorching. Remove the finished pieces to a plate and set aside.

  • 03

    Add the onion to the same pot and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes more. Pour in the beer, add the toasted chiles, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chiles have softened and are pliable, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

  • 04

    Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and reserve the pot. Add the cumin, pepper, oregano, salt, and water to the blender. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, adding more water if needed to thin the mixture a bit.

  • 05

    Return the seared meat to the pot and pour in the pureed chile mixture. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 hours, until the meat is fork-tender.

  • 06

    Remove the meat from the pot and shred with two forks. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with fresh tortillas, cilantro, onion, avocado, salsa and/or sour cream as desired.


  • thatchicchick

    These look delicious. I’ve had short rib tacos at a Tex-Mex-y restaurant here in Chicago, and they were by far the best ones they served. What do you think about obtaining a similar flavor profile with a different, cheaper cut of meat – like just a plain ole rump roast? I rarely cook beef – so far from the flavor expert here with different cuts.

  • Shari

    Your on a roll, I love it! I wished I lived in Indy :(

  • Angela

    Ummmm….I crave Mexican food all of the time. These look amazing. I will definitely be making these ASAP. If I lived in Indy I would totally offer my kitchen.

  • Melissa Brooker

    oh wow!! These will be on the menu this weekend, for sure!!

  • Melanie

    I was planning on making these from that book for tomorrow, with Paloma’s. In the book it says that they can be in the spicy side, so I was thinking of cutting back on the guajillos. We love the shot and a beer tacos from the book and they are the perfect amount of spice for us. Have you made them? How do they compare spice wise? Thanks!

    Just a side note while you are remodeling. The shot and a beer taco work great on the grill/slow cooker route. I toast the chilis and all the other stuff in the cast iron skillet on the grill, then grill the chicken, blend ups the spices and toss it all in the slow cooker. Works like a dream!

  • Lorena Solis

    Hi Annie! These look amazing! May the 4th Be With You!

  • Lorena Solis

    Hi Annie! These look delicious! May the 4th Be With You!!

  • Heck yeah. Short ribs are my new favorite food group.

  • Joanna

    Sounds amazing! Where did you find your guajillo and chipotle peppers? I have a hard time near me. And are these spicy bc of the Chipotle? thanks!

  • Looks so good. I am glad I came to your site, since I have been thinking of making something different (but Mexican – my favorite) over this weekend. So I am going to make this, but thinking of replacing beef with tofu. I have a few question though. The tortillas you used, are they the normal tortillas sold in grocery stores or different kind? Because in the picture they look a bit thick/puffy. Is there much difference between the regular oregano vs. Mexican oregano?

  • Annie

    They are my fresh flour tortillas (I think I linked the recipe in the post, but I could be wrong.) Mexican oregano is only slightly different than regular and I definitely wouldn’t go out of your way to find it. Regular oregano will be fine. Enjoy!

  • Annie

    I got mine at Whole Foods which has a pretty nice selection of dried peppers. We also have a great Mexican grocery here in Indy that has every type of dried chile you can imagine, and so cheap! I love that place.

  • Annie

    It’s such a hard question to answer about spice level. To me, they are a little spicy but my kids both eat them and love them, and I don’t recall them mentioning the “s word” at all ;)

    I haven’t tried the shot and a beer taco yet but really want to. Unfortunately our weather here has been terrible and has totally ruined my plans for lots of grilling during the renovation. Once it clears up, I may just try those. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Annie

    I don’t really care for rump roast and I adore short ribs soooo much, I have a hard time imagining that sub. However, the braising sauce is so delicious, it might work wonders on rump roast or similar. Let me know if you decide to try that how it goes!

  • Tara

    I made them last week. Fantastic. Great flavor! (I reduced the number of chilies just to be safe for those of us who don’t love hot spices) I tossed everything in the slow cooker and it made it very easy! Don’t skimp on the short ribs, by the time you shred everything you don’t get as much as you expect.