Barbacoa is a meat that many of us here in the U.S. have come to know as shredded beef. Depending on the geographic location it could refer to whole heads of cows (or cheeks), even sheep or goat meat, often cooked over an open fire, but more traditionally wrapped in leaves and cooked in a pit, dug in the ground. The interpretation is loose, today. Often barbacoa is cooked over an open fire, braised or even steamed. Whatever the cooking method or meat, one thing you want to look for is a cut of meat with a high fat content, which makes beef short ribs perfect for this Beef Short Rib Barbacoa.
Beef Short Rib Barbacoa Tacos
- 4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 3 chipotle chiles, stemmed
- 1 cup yellow onion, medium dice
- 1/2 cup carrot, peeled, medium dice
- 1/2 cup celery, medium dice
- 1/4 cup jalapeño, minced
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 lb (English-cut) beef short ribs
- Cornhusker Kitchen Duck Fat Cooking Spray
- 1/4 cup Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse Seasoning
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 cups unsalted beef stock
- Flavolcano Smoky Red Chile Sauce
- corn tortillas, cilantro sprigs, finely chopped white onion and lime wedges, for serving
Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill to 350°F.
In Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet, toast the ancho and chipotle chiles over medium heat. When the chiles become aromatic, flip and continue toasting until pliable and lightly charred. Remove from the skillet. Chop into large pieces.
Combine the ancho and chipotle chiles with the mirepoix (onion, celery, carrots), jalapeño, garlic and bay leaves in the cast iron skillet.
Cover the ribs in a layer of the Duck Fat Cooking Spray. Combine the Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse Seasoning and ground cumin. Season the ribs with the mixture. Place the ribs on the bed of vegetables in the skillet. Place the skillet on the main cooking grate of the grill, directly over the firebox. Add the beef stock. Cover with the cast iron lid. Braise the ribs for about 1.5-2 hours, until the meat is very tender, and nearly falling apart. Remove the skillet from the grill.
You might also enjoy: Brisket Tacos with Smoked Salsa
Turn the grill temperature up to 450ºF and remove the door from the diffuser (or the entire diffuser).
Remove the ribs from the skillet and set aside. Remove the bay leaves from the skillet and discard. Transfer the braising liquid and vegetable to a blender, working in batches, if necessary. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, as needed. You can add more heat with extra Flavolcano Smoky Red Chile Sauce, as desired.
Grill the ribs over direct heat, turning when charred. Remove the ribs from the grill, transfer to a shallow container and shred the meat using forks. Discard the bones. Coat the shredded beef with the sauce. Serve the Beef Short Rib Barbacoa in warm corn tortillas with the cilantro, chopped onion and lime wedges.