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May 3, 2019

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

These Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos are succulent, spicy, and so darn good!

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

 These short rib tacos are so beefy and drippy with the guajillo based sauce. If you are not careful, your hands, arms, and probably your clothes will show evidence that you enjoyed these tacos.

The beef short ribs for these tacos are the perfect make ahead braise, and just get better after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. If you are looking for a delicious taco filling for a crowd, these short ribs are excellent.

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

 My obsession with beef short ribs began with a visit to the restaurant Playa Amor in Long Beach. For some reason (it must have been fate), I ordered their short rib tacos, and had one of those "jump up and down, OMG, these tacos are amazingly delicious" moments (I've since ordered their short rib tacos again and again).

P.S. This is the same restaurant that inspired this Mango Chile Margarita.

Ever since, I've been on a quest to order short ribs every chance I get. Every time, my friends, who order way fancier entrees, are jealous of my short ribs. Every. Time. Just saying...

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

 The meat for these guajillo-braised beef short rib tacos could easily be adapted to a slow cooker too.

 I topped the meat with homemade sweet pickled red onions, this pico de gallo, and cilantro. You could also sprinkle on some avocado slices, Cotija cheese, and/or Mexican Crema. I used flour tortillas, but fresh, soft corn tortillas are excellent as well.

While I braised the short rib meat for these tacos in the oven, this recipe would adapt very well to a slow cooker.

Leftovers from these guajillo-braised short ribs are also delicious over baked sweet potatoes with a little sour cream and scallion slices, or in baked russet potatoes with sweet onions, butter, and cheddar cheese. Bits of the meat are also delicious in grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas.... not that I have tried any of these combinations or anything like that...

Time plan your menu for Cinco de Mayo! Check out all the other amazing Cinco de Mayo recipes from my food blogger friends:

This great recipe round up for Cinco de Mayo was put together by Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks.

P.S. If you like short ribs as much as I do, here are three more short rib recipes to try:

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 8 guajillo chiles, stems removed
  • 4 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless beef short ribs (or 3 pounds bone in beef short ribs)
  • 1 large yellow or brown onion, chopped coarsely
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces of dark beer
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sweet pickled red onions
  • Pico de gallo
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime slices
  • Warm tortillas for serving


How to cook Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Toast the guajillo chiles in a hot skillet over medium heat, about 30 seconds to a minute per side. Set the chiles aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Sear the meat in batches to brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Set the meat aside on a plate.
  3. Add the onion to the same Dutch oven over medium heat, and cook for five minutes, stirring as needed. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes more.
  4. Add the beer and toasted chiles to the pot, stir, and turn the heat to low. Cook the mixture uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool.
  5. Pour the contents of the pot to a blender. Add the cumin, pepper, oregano, salt, and water. Blend on high until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the pot.
  6. Add the meat back into the pot and turn it to coat it with the sauce. Cover the pot and place it into the preheated oven. Braise the meat in the oven for 3 hours.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven and, using two forks, shred the meat.
  8. Serve with the red onions, pico de gallo, cilantro, limes, and tortillas.
tacos, short ribs
Tacos, Main dish
Created using The Recipes Generator
Recipe adapted from Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails, and More. The recipes and photos in the book look so delicious, and the story of how the authors started the restaurant is worth the read.

Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

Would you like to comment?

  1. These are amazing, Karen! I just made tacos with brisket, and now I cannot stop thinking about trying your short ribs version... this type of meat has a melt in your mouth quality that is just superb!

    Loved the color of the onions too...

    1. I can't wait until you post your tacos (I hope you are going to, pretty please?) Brisket is one of my favorites too.

      These onions were so pungent when I cut them, and ended up so mellow after pickling. It works great with shallots too.

    2. I might post very soon, because... your wish is my command ;-)

  2. I am short ribs lover too. Looks like I need to try these.

  3. ...and Greek pitas as well (gyros style)!:) Can't wait to give these a try in some soft pitas we buy from a small local producer. We can already imagine the awesomeness of your content folded in a warm pillowy pitas:)
    Thanx for another amazing recipe Karen! xoxoxo

  4. I made just the short rib recipe and added a cilantro lime slaw and chipotle mayo. IT WAS INSANE .BEST TACO COMBO EVER

  5. I am a sucker for short ribs and I love all of the flavors, especially the pickled onions, with these tacos!

    1. Thanks! I wish I'd discovered pickled onions sooner!

  6. I love short ribs and have several packages in the freezer perfect for this recipe.

  7. Will have to be on the lookout for those chiles, and I can't believe I've never had short ribs!

  8. I'm so very excited to try this Karen. We love tacos and Tex-Mex and these sound like they have the most amazing flavor.


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