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.

  • Yield about 6 serving


  • 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.