Mini Braised Short-Rib Taco Bites

  • Photo and Recipe courtesy of <a href='' target='_blank'>Chef Eric LeVine</a>
  • Yield: 20-24 bites


    Short Ribs:

  • 3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. tomato paste
  • 1 c. red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon is good)
  • 1/2 c. Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • Mini Tacos:

  • 1 (12-inch flour tortilla
  • 2 ounces Roquefort cheese&nbsp;(or other strong blue-veined cheese), crumbled
  • Fresh rosemary, for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 300&deg; F.
  • Season the rib meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add the meat in batches and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove browned rib meat from pan and set them aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, wine, and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping the brown bits from the ribs into the mixture.
  • Return the rib meat to the pan and add the beef stock. Cover the pan, bring to a simmer, and place in the oven for 2-1/2 hours, until the meat shreds. Remove meat from the pan and remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Transfer the cooking liquid to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce into a pan and keep warm over low heat.
  • Mini Tacos:&nbsp;&nbsp;

  • Preheat the oven to 325&deg; F.
  • Cut tortillas into 2-inch rounds. Fold a sheet of aluminum foil into a bending wave, creating a series of V shaped troughs to hold the tortillas in a taco shape. Or use a straight-line baking rack with half-inch pace in between, and slightly bend the taco shell to fit between the bars of the cooling rack. Place the 2-inch rounds in the &ldquo;waves,&rdquo; set on a sheet pan, and bake for 20 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and let cool. Repeat until all taco shells are baked.&nbsp;
  • Assembly:

  • Shred the short rib meat and lightly toss with the warm sauce. Fill each mini taco shell with a bit of meat and top with a bit of crumbled Roquefort and rosemary.&nbsp;
  • Chef&rsquo;s Notes:

  • Short ribs can be used in many different ways, as shown in this and the following recipes. The braised short ribs will hold in your refrigerator up to 2 weeks and in your freezer up to 3 months in a properly sealed airtight container. Makes a good omelet mix.
  • Braised short ribs literally melt in your mouth. I love them as filling for homemade mini taco shells. The 2-inch tortillas are baked into shape using aluminum foil&mdash;so easy, and a real crowd pleaser! Serve with beer or red wine.
  • Variations:

  • Use pork or veal for a variation on this dish. The thickness of the meat will determine how long you should cook it. For every inch of thickness, estimate 45&ndash;60 minutes, depending on your oven. You can substitute beer for the red wine; a dark stout will build up the earthy flavor of this dish.