Beer, Barbecue, and Short Ribs are a match made in heaven. And, that’s just what I am bringing to you this week. Sweet, smoky & tender BBQ Short Ribs served on tacos with a refreshing cucumber-orange salsa. The magic ingredient that gives these short ribs an intense flavor is Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce.
Recently, I was looking through my old recipes from 2015, when we just launched Spoonabilities. I found this fabulous recipe I created that was inspired by one of the first food blogs that I discovered: “The Devil Wears Parsley.” Natalie describes her experience during her visit to a brewing company in California and how she loves beer and food. I got inspired by her post and I adapted her recipe “BBQ Short Ribs Tacos with Orange BBQ Sauce and Spicy-Orange Cucumber Salsa,” making a couple of shortcuts to reduce the prep and cooking time. My goal was to stay true to her recipe, but also include our new find of Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce.
In her recipe, Natalie cooked every ingredient from scratch, even the BBQ sauce. When I saw her recipe, I said I couldn’t find a better recipe to use with my already made BBQ Sauce. I kept almost all of the ingredients and steps for the marinade and braising process.
What is braising?
Braising is a traditional French technique from the combination of two cooking methods, the moist and dry heat. First, the meat is well seasoned and seared at high temperature. This process allows the seasoning to adhere to the surface of the short ribs. Then you finish with the second technique of the moist heat – when you add liquid, cover at low heat and cook slowly for several hours. The liquid will add more flavor and tenderize the meat. Braising is used especially when you have a tougher cut of meat which requires longer cooking time and ultimately transform it into tender, mouthwatering delectableness. For more information on braising, check out this post from Chatelaine Kitchen.
Tip: The amount of liquid that you add to the pot is just enough to cover the meat. If you add too much liquid, then the dish will become a stew.
Other recipes where I use the braising method:
- Salted Caramel Pulled Pork Slider
- Pork Carnitas with Roasted Pineapple Habanero Sauce
- Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
These BBQ short ribs were marinated for three hours, and I then braised them for four hours in the Dutch oven. But, if you have a pressure cooker, you can reduce the cooking time by half. I love to use my pressure cooker whenever I can. I work from home in my full-time job, and I always try to maximize the time during the day using the pressure cooker while I’m working. Then, when Geoffrey gets home at night, I can prepare dinner in less than 15 minutes, and work on Spoonabilities after dinner.
Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce for Meatballs
This tender beef short ribs recipe was my first try at making a barbecue dish. I felt challenged because growing up in Dominican, I didn’t have much of a relationship with barbecue sauce. This kind of sauce is not a traditional type of sauce in Dominican cooking – or at least as far as I can remember.
My parents used to cater events in the small town where we used to live during my childhood, but most of the dishes they cooked were Dominican recipes and some of them Italian. I used to help my parents with the events, but back then I wasn’t interested in learning how to cook. I was more interested in tasting all their super delicious food while they were cooking. That’s pretty much Geoffrey’s role now when I’m cooking. I guess that’s pay back / karma.
Back to the BBQ Short Ribs… I have to tell you that the final result of this recipe was very tender, mouth watering meat. The beef was falling off the bone, and the flavor had the perfect amount of heat from the Serrano and cayenne peppers.
Ways to Serve: Enjoy the BBQ short ribs in a taco topped with orange-cucumber salsa during a beautiful summer afternoon around the pool. You can then make a quick dinner during the week with the leftovers (if you’re lucky to have any leftovers). You can accompany the short ribs with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, in a bun or shepherd’s pie, or even use it as a chunky BBQ pasta sauce. If you want to have enough left over for future meals, I recommend that you double the recipe – don’t make the same mistake that I did and have it all gone at the first sitting. After creating this mouth-watering dish, you will want to have leftovers. Trust me.
Experience tasty happenings making (and eating) this recipe this summer, and leave me your comment about how it went!
P.S. These pictures were taken with a Samsung 3 phone when I was first starting to take food photographs. I’m embarrassed to show them, but it’s what they are.
UPDATE: This recipe is part of the 9 Mexican food recipes to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Easy BBQ Short Ribs with Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce
Yield 8 Tacos
The sauce for these tender beef BBQ Short Ribs is smoky, citrusy & sweet. You will love these falling-off-the-bone beef Short Ribs braised in Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce, beer, and other wonderful spices. This comfort food recipe is served on tacos with a refreshing cucumber-orange salsa for a surprising match made in heaven.
For the Braise:
- 3 pounds beef short ribs
- 1 teaSpoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 TableSpoon salt
- ½ teaSpoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 medium sliced onion
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, finely diced
- 1 teaSpoon of ginger paste or fresh ginger
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup Belgian beer (I used Shock Top)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 TableSpoon dry orange peel
- 2 TableSpoons of olive oil or Pure Cottonseed Oil
- 1 cup of orange juice
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 jar of the Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce
For the Cucumber & Orange Salsa:
- 1 ½ cups peeled and seeded, diced cucumber
- 1 cup diced fresh orange
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- ¼ cup sliced scallions
- 1 serrano pepper, finely diced
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ teaSpoon salt
For the Braise:
- Place the short ribs in a large freezer bag, and add lime juice and cayenne pepper. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, heat a Dutch oven with olive oil or Pure Cottonseed Oil and sear the short ribs, about 2 minutes per side. Work in batches to prevent steam and create a perfect seal, then move the pieces to a plate.
- In the same Dutch oven, combine beef stock, beer, water, onion, garlic, Serrano pepper, ginger, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and orange juice and orange peels.
- Heat on high until the mixture simmers. Remember to scrape the bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Cook for 4 hours. When done, remove the meat from the liquid, and pull apart with two forks.
For the Salsa:
- Combine all ingredients, mix well, cover and refrigerate.
Build the Tacos:
- Add about ¾ cup of the Smoky Orange BBQ Sauce to the meat, and mix well. Reheat the meat in a pot over medium heat if necessary.
- Warm up some corn tortillas in a skillet lightly sprayed with olive oil
- Add the BBQ Short Ribs, salsa, and more barbecue sauce, and top with the cucumber-orange salsa.
- Serve with lime wedges, extra salsa, and BBQ sauce.
The Nutrition information is an estimate.
Vitamin A 1% , Vitamin C 68%, Calcium 5%, Iron 11%
Courses Lunch, Dinner, BBQ, Holiday, Summer
Cuisine Tex-Mex, American, Mexican
Serving Size 1/2 per person
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 35.9 g
Saturated Fat 15.1 g
Cholesterol 68.9 mg
Sodium 723.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 18.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 12.3 g
Protein 15.5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Products and displays used in this recipe:
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