Chipotle Short Ribs

All, Beef & Veal

This is without a doubt the family’s favorite short rib recipe. I think I could make it several times a week without any complaints. And it’s special enough for company. This recipe will serve four or five, so if you need to increase it, it’s easy to do.

Chipotle chiles are jalapeño chiles that have been left on the bush to turn red, then dried and smoked. You can buy them in a can in a great sauce. This recipe uses enough to add a great depth of flavor without making the dish hot. You will have most of the can left over, so empty the can into a container and keep in the fridge for other uses.

In the photo, I’ve served the ribs with mashed potatoes and roasted Butterstick squash. You can also serve this over rice, or just warm tortillas. You need something, at least bread or rolls, to soak up the delicious sauce.

The first step is to coat the ribs with a spice rub and put in a plastic bag for at least an hour. You can even do this the day before and keep them in the refrigerator. I normally use Emeril’s Southwestern Rub or some other branded mix, but you can make your own. Rubs are almost always based on paprika or chili powder, or both, and include garlic salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and so forth. If you need to make your own make the following mix for a BBQ Rub:

1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander


Here’s the recipe for Chipotle Short Ribs:

2-3 pounds beef short ribs
2 tablespoons (or more, if needed) olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef broth
1 cup drained diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about two limes)
2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles


Coat the ribs generously on all sides and put in the bag for at least an hour, or up to one day.

You’re going to also need a large ovenproof pot. This recipe serves four or five people, depending on the meatiness of the ribs and the appetite of the eaters. When you buy the ribs, just count them and figure who’s going to eat one or two or three, and you’ll probably wind up with about 1/2 pound of ribs per person.

For the garnish:

3 large fresh California (Anaheim) green chiles, raw, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch rings
chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges

After the ribs have marinated in the dry rub, heat the oil in a large oven-proof pot. While the oil is heating, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ribs a few at a time for several minutes on each side. Put the ribs aside. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook and stir for a few more minutes and add the broth. Bring the broth to a boil, and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the brown bits left over from the ribs. Add the tomatoes, lime juice and chipotles and mix well. Add the ribs back into the pot rib side up, pushing them down into the liquid. Cover the pot, bring it to a boil, and put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven, place on the stove, and tilt it so you can spoon off some of the fat. Simmer it uncovered for another 3/4 hour to thicken the sauce. During the last 10 minutes, add the chile rings and season the dish with salt and pepper.

Serve with potato, noodles, or tortillas, garnished with the chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

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