Thursday, July 19, 2012

.chile-rubbed short ribs w/ sopes, greens, & pickled onions.

I love short ribs, but whenever I make them, I always go to my go to recipe with tomatoes, red wine, Italian herbs and all that good stuff.  It's always an Italian dish!  I decided to try something new.  While searching around the internet, I came across a recipe for chile rubbed short ribs, which gave it a more Latin/South American flavor.  Something I definitely wanted to try. 

With short ribs, you need to make them well ahead of time.  They take 4 hours to braise in the oven to ensure the sinew has broken down and for the fat to render completely.  Do it properly, and you'll have a finished product that's juicy and tender and mouthwateringly delicious!

There are a lot of components to this dish and while it may look awfully fancy in my picture, it's really not.  In fact, I would even consider this dish something a beginner could easily make.  So if you're feeling intimidated, don't! 


Put chile powder and salt in a bowl (2:1 ratio).  Generously coat all of the short ribs and set aside.  If you can, do this step the night before so they can soak in all that smoky chile flavor.

Put some oil in a large dutch oven and heat over medium high heat.  When hot, put in your short ribs and sear all sides of the pieces.  If all of your short ribs didn't fit in the pan, sear some and then put them on a plate.  Repeat searing the remaining ribs.  Place all seared ribs back into the dutch oven. 

Add to your pot:

1 1/2 cups red wine (a good Spanish wine would be fantastic for this)
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 Spanish onion, sliced
1 lime, cut in half, squeeze juice into the pot and drop the lime into the pot
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 can green chiles, diced
2 tomatoes, diced

Put the lid on and pop this into a preheated 250* oven.  Cook for 4 hours.


Peel and thinly slice 1 red onion.  Put in a large ziploc with 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp salt.  Seal up the ziploc, removing as much air as possible.  Pop in the fridge and let sit.  This step can be done a day in advance to give your onions more time to pickle.

Step 3: SOPES

Sopes are these lovely little fried corn pancakes.  They have a hint of sweetness that pairs well with the robust short rib.

In a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups masa (I used Maseca), 1 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp salt.

In a saucepan, put 2 1/2 cups milk and heat to boiling.  Once boiling, turn off the burner and add 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces.

When the butter has completely melted, pour the hot milk into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.  Let sit for 5 minutes for the masa to absorb the liquid.

If you have an electric griddle, use it.  If you don't, you can use a skillet over medium heat.  Heat your griddle to 350*.  Drizzle the hot griddle with oil or melted butter.  Use a 2 Tbsp cookie scoop and scoop blobs of batter onto your griddle surface.  Take a metal spatula and carefully press down each blob to make a little pancake.  (I did have to coat the back of my spatula with some butter so the dough wouldn't stick to it.)  Cook for 6 minutes on each side.  When they're golden brown on both sides, remove and set aside.  Repeat until all the batter is cooked up.

Step 4:  PLATE!

When all of your steps are done, it's time to plate.

Begin by placing your sopes down first.  I used spring greens and layed them down on top of each sope.    Then I put a piece of short rib meat on top of that!  Crumble a little Cotija cheese on top of that, then drizzle with some Mexican Crema.  The final step is placing some of those pickled onions as the garnish.

Voila!  So simple.  So SO delicious.  Your family will be amazed by your mad culinary skills!  Enjoy!

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