Short Rib Tacos

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 2-1/2 hours


6 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
Whenever we go to Houston to visit family, we like to track down cabeza—cow’s head, cooked slowly, resulting in extremely tender meat that's excellent in tacos. Cabeza is hard to find in Seattle, so I use short ribs to replicate the texture. I like corn tortillas for these tacos and a quick pico de gallo to add some freshness to the rich, flavorful meat. —Anai Yost, Bothell, Washington


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer or beef broth
  • Water, optional
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • 3/4 cup pico de gallo
  • 3/4 cup queso fresco or crumbled feta cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper; brown in batches. Remove with tongs.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add carrots and onion to drippings; cook, stirring frequently, until starting to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add cocoa; toast, stirring frequently, until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and beer, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; simmer 2-3 minutes.
  3. Return ribs to pan; add water, if necessary, to cover. Bake, covered, until meat is tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from oven; drain, reserving juices. When cool enough to handle, remove ribs from pan and remove meat from bones; discard bones. Shred meat with 2 forks. Skim fat from reserved juices. Return meat and juices to Dutch oven; heat through. Serve on tortillas with pico de gallo and queso fresco.

Nutrition Facts

2 tacos: 508 calories, 26g fat (9g saturated fat), 97mg cholesterol, 557mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 6g fiber), 37g protein.