Citrus-Chile Braised Short Ribs

Makes 8 servings


8 5″ or 6″ English-style, bone-in beef short ribs (about 6 lbs)
Kosher salt
Freshly-Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste (try using 2 Tbsp Tomato Powder + just as much water as needed to create a paste)
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
7 Chiles De Arbol, divided, or 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
4 sprigs oregano (or 1 tsp Dried Oregano)
4 wide strips orange zest, plus some thin strips for serving
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 limes, halved
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

Place short ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and season liberally with salt and pepper. Chill the ribs, uncovered, at least 2 hours. You can do this up to one day ahead – it’ll taste even better if you do!

Preheat oven to 325°F while you heat the olive oil, in a large heavy pot, over medium heat. Work in batches to cook the short ribs, turning periodically until each side of each rib is evenly browned, about 5 min per side. Remove ribs to a platter, being careful to pour off and reserve the pan drippings in between rib-browning batches.

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to carefully remove any burned bits from pot, leaving in the golden-brown pieces. Add the chopped onions, garlic, celery, carrots, tomato paste, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and 6 chiles or red pepper flakes to the pot and cook over medium heat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, stirring to coat the vegetables with the seasonings. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring often, until the chopped vegetables have softened, the tomato paste is a little bit browned, and the warmed spices have become fragrant, about 10–12 min.

Add the oregano, wide strips of orange zest, 1 Cup orange juice, and 6 Cups water to the browned vegetables in the heavy pot, using the wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits. Continue to heat and stir, and season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Return ribs to the pot, along with any reserved pan juices. Be careful to make sure that the ribs are completely submerged in the liquid. Bring mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat to a medium simmer. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, transfer heavy pot to the 325°F oven, and braise ribs until the rib meat is extra-tender, falling off the bone, about 4–5 hours.

Remove pot from the oven, and, using tongs, gingerly transfer ribs to a serving platter, being careful not to knock the tender meat off the rib bones. Strain solids from the braising liquid into a large bowl, returning the juices to the pot. Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half. Liquid will be thicker, but still saucy. Gently return short ribs to the pot, turning pieces in the liquid to fully coat.

To serve: Place short ribs on a serving platter, then drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp orange juice. Squeeze limes, and crush the one remaining chile over the meat. Top ribs with fresh cilantro and additional thin strips of orange zest.

Make ahead: Beef short ribs can be braised up to 5 days ahead. Once cooked, allow to cool; cover ribs and chill in the strained braising liquid.

Adapted from epicurious.