This may look complicated, but it isn't at all. You can use other secondary cuts for this if you like – anything that braises well – however, I like the gelatinous nature of the short rib and the big, beefy flavour.
This recipe requires an adobo marinade, for which you can find the recipe here.
2kg trimmed beef short ribs on the bone
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
adobo (recipe here)
½ medium white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
16 warmed corn tortillas*
chopped coriander, shaved cabbage and finely sliced Spanish onion, to serve
hot sauce (optional)
For the salsa
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 dried cascabel chillies*, stemmed, halved and seeded
1. The day before cooking, season the ribs well with salt and let sit in the fridge overnight.
2. Make the adobo marinade.
3. Heat a large pot with a tight-fitting lid on medium-high heat. Add olive oil and brown the meat, (working in batches as needed) turning occasionally, until some of the fat is rendered and the meat is brown all over (about 8 minutes), remove. Once all the ribs are browned, transfer to a glass or plastic container and marinate in half of the adobo for 4 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan-forced).
5. Place greaseproof paper on the bottom of a large, heavy braising pot, then place the meat and adobo marinade on top. Add the white onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and enough water to cover the meat by a couple of centimetres. Place some greaseproof paper over the surface of the liquid and place lid on. Slowly braise in the oven until very tender, about 3 hours. Drain the meat, reserving the liquid.
6. For the salsa, preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Roast tomatoes (including juice) and garlic in a pan for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chillies, turning occasionally, until slightly charred in places (3 to 4 minutes). Put the chillies, tomatoes and garlic, and other half of the adobo in a blender and blend until very smooth.
8. In a large pot, combine the salsa with half of the braising liquid, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes until thick.
9. Remove the meat from the bone and cut into large chunks. Fold through the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary. Put in a large bowl and serve immediately, topped with coriander, cabbage, onion and hot sauce, if desired.
*Dried chilies and tortillas are available from Fireworks Foods