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May 2, 2018

Beef Short Rib Enchiladas with Chiles and Tomatillo Sauce

These Beef Short Rib Enchiladas with Chiles and Tomatillo Sauce are loaded with flavor. The beef short ribs are simmered for almost three hours in a stock with chiles, garlic, red wine, and lots of thyme, giving the meat a deeply rich flavor.

Beef Short Rib Enchiladas with Chiles and Tomatillo Sauce

These Beef Short Rib Enchiladas with Ancho and Hatch Chiles are made with flour tortillas rather than corn, and topped with a tomatillo and jalapeño sauce.

I had to make these beef short rib enchiladas because I was inspired (or obsessed) by a dinner we had two years ago in a restaurant in Paso Robles, California (the name is Fish Gaucho). The short rib enchiladas were so delicious, and everyone was jealous of my dinner. Ever since then, I've had a short rib obsession.

Those enchiladas later inspired these Instant Pot Asian-Style Short Ribs and these Guajillo-Braised Short Rib Tacos. I'm still short rib obsessed, so count on more recipes in the future. In fact, I may have to set up a short rib section in my recipe index.

For these enchiladas, I used bone-in short ribs, which resulted in super tender beef after braising. Because you can't really see the beef in the enchiladas, here's a shot of the luscious cooked beef in all of its meaty glory.

Shredded beef short ribs

 Disclosure: I received a generous box of dried chiles from Melissa's Produce for this enchilada event, hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I used their Ancho, Guajillo, and Hatch chiles in the meat for these enchiladas.

Check out all of these chiles, and while you're at it, give me some ideas for the Reaper!

Dried chiles

 NOTE: I like making the meat a day in advance. It is so much easier to skim the fat off the top of the sauce once it's cold. Plus, I love the make-ahead convenience.

This short rib beef enchilada filling is also excellent in tacos, burritos, and over baked potatoes. I also tossed some of the meat with this grilled pineapple salsa and stuffed a baguette with it. So oddly delicious!

You can substitute the tomatillo sauce with your favorite tomato based enchilada sauce if you prefer.

After my recipe, you'll find more amazing enchilada recipes from the rest of the #CrazyforChiles #FoodieExtravaganza group.

Yield: 8 enchiladas

Beef Short Rib Enchiladas with Chiles and Tomatillo Sauce


Beef Short Rib Filling
  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried Hatch or New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried Guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried California chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 12 sprigs of fresh thyme
Tomatillo Sauce
  • 5 tomatillos, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Thai chile, stemmed and seeded (optional)
  • Olive oil1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Crumbled Cotija or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 eight-inch (or so) flour tortillas
  • Fresh tomato salsa
  • Garnishes such as cilantro, sour cream, crema, diced avocado, and limes


Beef Short Ribs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dry the short ribs with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. 
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. In batches, sear the short ribs on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Move the ribs to a plate and set aside. 
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the stock and the dried chiles and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep for at least 15 minutes. 
  4. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the red wine and port wine and bring to a simmer for about 12 minutes, until the wine had reduced almost completely. Add the thyme and the stock with the chiles, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the short ribs, cover the pan, and place it in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours. 
  5. Remove the short ribs from the pan, remove the meat from the bones, and shred. Pour the cooking liquid through a strainer and then skim off the excess fat (see not above about making this the day before). 
  6. In a large skillet, bring the liquid to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until it has reduced and thickened. Stir in salt and pepper. Add the shredded beef, and stir to coat. 
Tomatillo Sauce
  1. In a medium pan, combine the tomatillos, onion, shallot, jalapeño, Thai chile, and olive oil, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. 
  2. Puree the mixture in a blender. Pour back into the pan, and stir in the cilantro and keep warm. 
Assemble the Enchiladas
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure the meat and sauce are both warmed before assembling the enchiladas. 
  2. Heat the tortillas, one at a time over an open flame of a gas oven or on a griddle,  fill with some of the short rib mixture, add some cheese, and roll into an enchilada shape. Spread some of the tomatillo sauce on the bottom of a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan, and place the assembled enchiladas on top of the sauce. Place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes. In the meantime, keep the sauce warm over a low flame. 
  3. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and drizzle with some of the sauce, and garnish with salsa, cilantro, and other garnishes of your choice. 

Short Rib Enchiladas with Chiles and Tomatillo Sauce #enchiladas #beef #shortribs #mexicanfood

Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow! Just Wow!!! You went all out with the chiles in this recipe! I feel like mine is so Plain Jane compared to this one! Next time, I'll have to go crazy with the chiles!

    1. I loved the flavor, although I really need to try each one individually!

  2. LOVE this! I tried single varietal sauces, but now I'll need to try with a mix. Thanks for the inspiration and for joining me.

  3. I love short ribs too... have to smile at your need to put a "short rib" page in your index... that really says a lot!

    my next post will be along the same lines, but with a different type of meat - and now that I got you unashamedly probed for my blog.. ;-)

    seriously I need to make this -strangely enough, in this neck of the woods short ribs tend to disappear in the spring - I haven't seen them for sale lately.. too bad...

    1. Can't wait to see your next post! I'd be so sad it short ribs disappeared during spring!

  4. Oh my....I love short ribs and these sound amazing Karen.

  5. These are gorgeous! Simmering in the stock must make them so tender and full of flavor! Love that idea!

  6. Its wonderful to see different varieties of chillies used to make enchilada sauce. Flavorful sauce, looks delicious.

    1. Thanks Sneha! I went kind of crazy with the chiles!


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