Time to pound Mexican food and drink lots of cold beer with lime wedges. The weather in the bay area has been out of control so tonight we're having a neighborhood taco party on the roof. On the menu? A tribute to one of my favorite tacos in San Francisco, the Guajillo Braised Beef Short Rib Taco from Tacolicious.
Tacolicious is located in our old hood in the city, the Marina. Everything is good there but this taco really stands out. On top of the fact that this is ridiculously good, they have amazing fresh salsa and original hot sauces that they should bottle and sell - I'd buy them!
Guajillo Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa
Braised Short Ribs
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
6 dried guajillo chilies
2 dried chipotle chilies
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 pounds beef short ribs
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
Salt, to taste
½ teaspoon whole cumin seed
6 small tomatillos
2 avocados, sliced in half, seed removed, flesh scooped out
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
For the short ribs
- Preheat oven to 350º. In a pan over a medium flame, lightly toast cumin seeds until fragrant. Grind cumin seeds using spice grinder or the bottom of a heavy pan and set aside.
- Slice open chilies and remove the seeds. Toast chilies in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and soak in 2 cups of water and set aside.
- In a heavy-bottom pot, heat oil and sear ribs until golden brown on all sides. Remove ribs from pot and set aside. In the same pot, add the onion and cook until it begins to caramelize, then add the garlic and continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the chilies and their soaking liquid to the onions and garlic. Stir to combine, then puree in a blender with the oregano and a pinch of salt and place back into the same heavy bottom pot. Add the ribs back to the pot, cover and cook in the oven for 3 – 3 ½ hours. You may do this a day or two in advance; reheat when you are ready to serve.
For the salsa
- In a pan over a medium flame, lightly toast cumin seeds until fragrant. Grind cumin seeds using a spice grinder or the bottom of a heavy pan.
- In a food processor blend tomatillos, avocados, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice and cumin until smooth. Season with salt to taste and reserve.
Heat tortillas on a flat-top griddle or in a large frying pan. Keep warm as you cook them by wrapping them in a clean dish towel. For each taco, put two tortillas on a plate, add a scoop of the braised beef, top with salsa, and enjoy!