Short Rib Tacos are a delicious way to spice up taco night! These beer-braised short rib tacos are easy to make in the slow cooker, and made spicy thanks to a delicious chipotle sauce!
It happens to be Cinco de Mayo as I write this, but honestly, I did not work on this recipe with celebrations in mind. Many Americans have adopted what was originally a day to commemorate the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 into a holiday that celebrates Mexican-American culture; this recipe would fit in very nicely. But for me, it started as a craving for tender beef tacos that could easily be made in the slow cooker.
You see, May is a hectic month for parents. We’re heading into the end of the school year, which means concerts and performances, sports and events, and a calendar that demands something from every family member. The slow cooker is my answer to this busy season, and I wanted to make a spicy taco that the whole family could enjoy, even if it meant that we were all eating at different times.
These short rib tacos were inspired by my chipotle short ribs, shredded to tender perfection, and served in taco form.
How to Make Short Rib Tacos
If you’re looking for short rib tacos you can make in the slow cooker, you’ll love this super easy and delicious recipe! This one is perfect for those days you’re craving something hearty and flavorful.
How to Make Short Rib Tacos
- Season the short ribs
You can use a slow cooker or an oven for this recipe. If you’re using the oven, preheat it to 275°F.
Now it’s time to season the short ribs! Be sure to coat them generously with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander on all sides.
- Brown the short ribs
Next, grab an ovenproof casserole, Dutch oven, or heatproof slow cooker insert and place it over medium heat. Add some olive oil and heat until it’s hot but not smoking. Then, add the short ribs to the pot, working in batches if necessary (just be careful not to let them touch, or they might steam instead of brown). Cook the ribs until they’re browned on all sides, which should take about 10 minutes. Don’t rush this step!
Once the ribs are browned, remove them from the casserole and set them aside. Remove excess fat, leaving about 2-3 tablespoons in the casserole.
- Make the sauce
Add some onion and garlic to the casserole and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened (about 5 minutes). Then transfer the onions and garlic to a blender and add the chipotle peppers, molasses, vinegar, beer, and stock. Blend until smooth.
- Slow-cook the short ribs
Return the browned ribs to the casserole, pour the sauce over them, and add the bay leaves. Bring everything to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then, cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Cook for about 3 hours or until the ribs tender and fall off the bone. (If you’re using a slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours or until the ribs are tender.)
- Shred the rib meat
Once the ribs are cooked, shred them and discard the bones. Be sure to reserve the sauce for serving!
- Assemble and serve
To assemble the tacos, place the short rib meat in toasted tortilla shells and top with pickled onions, radish slices, cilantro, and avocado. Serve with the reserved sauce on the side, and enjoy!
More Taco Recipes
More Short Rib Recipes
Short Rib Tacos
For the Short Ribs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2.5 lbs beef short ribs about 6 to 7 pieces
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion diced about 1 cup
- 6 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 cup dark beer I recommend Negro Modelo
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
For the Tacos
- 8 corn-flour tortilla shells
- 1 avocado pitted, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup radishes thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pickled red onion
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Make the short ribs
- This may be prepared in a slow cooker or the oven. If using the oven, preheat to 275°F.
- Season the short ribs generously with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander on all sides.
- Place an ovenproof casserole, Dutch oven, or heatproof slow cooker insert over medium heat. Add olive oil, and heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add short ribs to the pot, working in batches if necessary (take care not to let the short ribs touch – you risk them steaming rather than browning). Cook ribs until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Do not rush!
- Remove ribs from casserole, and set aside.
- Remove excess fat, leaving just about 2-3 Tbsp in the casserole.
- Add onion and garlic to oil in the casserole, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender. Add the chipotle peppers, molasses, vinegar, beer, and stock. Blend until smooth.
- Return the browned ribs to the casserole, pour in the sauce, and add the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the casserole, and place it in the oven. Cook for about 3 hours, or until ribs are tender and falling about the bone. [If using a slow cooker, cook on high setting for 4 hours or until tender.]
- Shred the short ribs. Reserve the sauce for serving and discard the bones.
Assemble the Tacos
- Assemble the tacos by placing short rib meat in toasted tortilla shells and garnishing with pickled onions, radish slices, cilantro, and avocado. Serve with reserved sauce on the side.