These Tequila Braised Short Rib Enchiladas are insanely good, and an upgrade from the typical enchilada experience. Succulent short ribs are braised in an extra rich + robust, tequila infused broth with tons of authentic Mexican spices and flavors until fall-apart tender and paired with filling beans. That braising liquid then transforms into a fine, homemade enchilada sauce for no-waste deliciousness!
- 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs (about 6 meaty pieces!)
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup tequila, good-quality- (I use silver/blanco)
- 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 dried guajillo chili pod, stem cut off & inner seeds shaken out
- 1 dried pasilla chili pod, stem cut off & inner seeds shaken out
- 2 cups beef or chicken broth
For finishing & assembling short rib enchiladas:
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans or pinto beans, liquid drained
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded Mexican-style cheese
- 8 large flour or corn tortillas
- For garnishing & serving enchiladas: chopped onion, cilantro, sliced jalapeños, radish, avocado, shredded lettuce, crema/sour cream, queso, guacamole, and/or spanish-style rice
- Season & rest the short ribs: In a large bowl (or on a large plate), generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides. Set the short ribs aside to rest and sit until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Afterwards, preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Brown the short ribs: Heat the oil in a large dutch oven (at least 5-quarts in capacity + oven-safe) over medium-high heat. Once the mixture is shimmering, gently swirl the pot around to evenly coat the bottom. Add a few short ribs into the pot, working in batches, careful not to overcrowd. Sear the short ribs on all sides until a deep brown crust appears, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the browned short ribs onto a clean plate/platter and repeat the process until all the short ribs are browned. Then set the browned short ribs aside and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Sauté & deglaze: Add the chopped onion into the pot. Sauté, while stirring every so often, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat. Allow this mixture to cook until the flour dissipates and lightly browns, about 1-2 minutes. Then slowly pour in the tequila to deglaze the pot. Use a wooden utensil to stir the tequila into the mixture, scraping up any of those glorious bits that have collected on the bottom of the pot. Allow the mixture to cook until the tequila has mostly absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble the braise: Add in the brown sugar, worcestershire, cumin, oregano, coriander, chipotle peppers, garlic, tomato sauce, and salt/pepper- to taste, stirring to fully combine. Return the browned short ribs back into the pot along with any residual juices that have collected. Then add in the dried guajillo and pasilla chili pods. Pour the broth over everything- the ribs should be almost completely submerged under the liquid.
- Braise the short ribs: Cover the pot with a lid and transfer the pot into the oven. Allow the short ribs to braise for 3 hours, covered- until the ribs are meltingly tender and falling off the bone.
- Shred the short ribs: After braising, the short ribs will be very tender. Carefully remove the ribs from the pot and set aside to cool down for a few minutes before handling. At this stage, increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Back to the ribs, use a fork or your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to shred the short rib meat into pieces. Discard the bones along with any excess fatty parts. Mix the short rib meat with can of beans, this is your filling, set aside.
- Prepare the enchilada sauce: There are 2 ways: Immersion blender method: Place an immersion blender directly into the pot and pulse until the braising liquid is completely smooth and the enchilada sauce has formed. Blender method: Carefully transfer the braising liquid in the pot along with all its bits into the body of a high-powered blender. Note: since the liquid is hot/warm, you need to be cautious to not have an expansion/explosion mishap. I recommend blending on the lowest speed first or working in batches if your blender can’t take all the liquid at one time. Blend until the sauce is smooth and free of any lumps, this is your enchilada sauce.
- Assemble enchiladas: Set up an assembly line: tortillas, enchilada sauce, short rib filling, and cheese. Then spread about a 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly onto the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Grab a tortilla and spread 2 tablespoons of sauce onto the tortilla, using the back of a spoon to spread over the surface. Add about a 1/4 cup of filling in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of cheese on top of the filling. Roll up the tortilla, tucking the inner mixture in as nicely as you can. Then place the tortilla into the prepared baking dish, seam side down. Repeat the process until all enchiladas have been assembled.
- Bake: Pour any remaining sauce evenly over the assembled enchiladas in the dish >> this will depend on how wet you like your enchiladas, top as you’d like (if you have any sauce left, save for later use!). Then evenly sprinkle any remaining cheese over the top. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until the enchiladas are slightly crispy.
- Serve these short rib enchiladas immediately while they’re nice and hot. Garnish/serve with all the goods (chopped onion, cilantro, jalapeños, crema/sour cream, avocado, rice, etc.)- as desired…Enjoy!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks along with instructions to prep/make-ahead + freezing enchiladas & cooking notes for making short ribs using an instant pot/pressure cooker.
Keywords: enchiladas, short ribs, beef short ribs, braised short ribs, mexican enchiladas, tequila, tequila braising, beef enchiladas