Chef Blessing's Cherry Chipotle Braised Beef Short Rib Taco
Yield: 6 portions, 3 tacos per person
• 4-5 cups braised beef Short Ribs
• 18 each 4 inch fresh corn tacos
• 2 cups shredded ice berg lettuce
• ½ cup picked Cilantro leaves
• 1 cup pickled red onions
For the Short Rib
• 8 boneless beef short ribs (about 6 ounces each)
• 3 tablespoons kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons black pepper
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cups chopped onions
• 2 cups chopped celery
• 2 cups chopped carrots
• 2 cups red wine
• 1 can chipotle in adobo, 4 oz
• 2 cups black cherry juice
• 1 head garlic, papery outer husks removed, cut in half (about 12 cloves)
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme
• Chicken stock, enough to cover ribs (about 32 ounces)
• Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
• Season the Ribs generously with salt and pepper
• Heat the olive oil in a large braising pan or ovenproof casserole over medium-high heat. Working in several small batches, sear the ribs until well browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
• Lower heat to medium, add the onions, celery, and carrots; cook until well browned and caramelized.
• Add the red wine, cherry juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and simmer until liquid is reduced by half
• Return beef short ribs back to the pan; add chicken stock to almost cover the ribs.
• Cover the pan with foil tightly then place into preheated oven
• Braise covered in oven for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
• Carefully remove the beef ribs from the pan, cool to room temperature and shred by hand or with a fork
• Strain the braising liquid, place into a pot, bring to a simmer and reduce by 3/4.
• Add reduced liquid to the shredded meat and reserve.
For the Corn Tortillas
Yield 18 tortillas
• 1 lb. (4 cups) fine-grind masa harina
• 4 to 5-1/2 cups warm water (about 100°F)
• ½ tsp. kosher salt
• Cut two 8-inch circles from a gallon-size zip-top bag; set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, 4 cups of the warm water, and the salt. Mix and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and homogenous, adding more water 1/4 cup at a time as needed—the dough should feel like Play-Doh: flexible, soft, and smooth, not stiff. To test the dough, pinch off a bit, roll into a ball, and flatten between your palms. The dough should flatten easily, with few if any cracks forming around the edges. If deep U-shaped cracks form, add more water and test again.
• Divide the dough into 2-oz. balls (about the size of golf balls), keeping them covered with a damp towel while you shape them.
• Heat a large griddle over medium heat (or use two large skillets if you don’t have a large griddle). Use a tortilla press or the bottom of a wide, heavy pot to flatten a dough ball between the two pieces of plastic into a 6-inch tortilla of even thickness. Peel off the top piece of plastic, flip the tortilla over onto your hand, and carefully peel off the other piece of plastic.
• Slap the tortilla onto the griddle (this breaks any air bubbles) and cook, flipping once, until the surface is brown in spots and appears dry, 1 to 2 minutes per side. While the first tortilla cooks, shape and begin cooking another. Continue shaping and cooking the remaining tortillas in this manner. As they’re done, wrap them in a slightly damp dishtowel to keep them warm and flexible.
For the pickled red onions
• 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into medium julienne strips
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup white vinegar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2 tbs whole cumin seeds
• Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and cumin seeds to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook slowly for 6-8 minutes.
• Strain and pour pickling liquid over onions.
• Cover onions with plastic wrap and let sit until cool, about ½ hour.
• Refrigerate and reserve
• Reheat the braised short rib mixture
• Hold the soft taco in your hand cupping it to form a packet
• Place about 2oz in the center of a warm taco
• Garnish with Shredded Lettuce and cilantro leaves, Enjoy!
Chef David Blessing of Longwood Events is participating in the Second Annual WGBH Food and Wine Festival, coming back to Guest St. this September 19-21.
MORE FESTIVAL INFO