These slow cooker Sweet and Spicy Ancho Chile Short Rib Tacos are a flavorful and easy to make dinner. Tender, juicy, shredded short ribs slow cooked with a perfectly balanced sweet and spicy sauce will easily become your new favorite taco!
Thanks to my friends at Vital Proteins for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.
It’s a first here on Recipe Runner. My first recipe using short ribs and what better way to use them than to make these Sweet and Spicy Ancho Chile Short Rib Tacos!
By now you guys have figured out that I love tacos. I’m obsessed with these Egg, Green Chile and Cheese Breakfast Tacos, I could eat them all day long. Then of course there’s these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tacos for all of you wing sauce lovers out there. If you’re looking for something more traditional and Mexican in flavor then I highly recommend giving these short rib tacos a try.
Short ribs aren’t something I buy very often. If you’ve had them before I’m sure you are aware that they aren’t the leanest piece of beef. However, if you’re looking for a high protein splurge meal or had a hard workout that day and need to replace some calories, then these are the tacos for you!
There are a couple things you can do to make them leaner. I recommend trimming off the excess fat on the outside. There is plenty of fat marbled within the beef, so you won’t be sacrificing any flavor. The second thing you can do is make everything a day in advance and refrigerate the meat and cooking liquid in separate containers. When the sauce gets cold the fat will separate from the liquid and you can easily scoop it off.
Let’s talk about this magical sweet and spicy cooking liquid that the short ribs cook in, because it’s pretty darn tasty! A combination of ancho chile powder, cumin, beef broth, onion, garlic, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and Vital Proteins Bone Broth Collagen are all added to a blender and puréed until smooth.
I’m sure you’ve started hearing and reading about all the benefits of bone broth. Including bone broth into your diet can help boost your immune system, support joint health, enhance skin hydration, and promote digestion and gut health. Vital Proteins Bone Broth Collagen comes in powder form making it easy to add to many savory recipes like I did with these tacos. It’s made with USDA Organic bones that are either sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle or free-range chickens, and offer 9 grams of protein.
Making the short rib taco meat is so easy. The short ribs are seared in a skillet before going into the slow cooker. It adds nice flavor and seals in all the juices. Short ribs are a tough cut of meat and take a while to break down, but once they do they are fall of the bone tender and juicy.
The taco meat is both gluten-free and Paleo and if you use a grain free tortilla, serve it lettuce wrap style or with cauliflower rice, the whole meal will be. I kept the toppings simple, thinly sliced radishes and some cilantro. Since the meat was so flavorful it didn’t need much. The next time you get a taco craving, treat yourself to these Sweet and Spicy Ancho Chile Short Rib Tacos!
Sweet and Spicy Ancho Chile Short Rib Tacos
- 3 pounds beef short ribs, excess fat trimmed off
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning the short ribs
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 stick pack Vital Proteins Organic, Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth Collagen
- 5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 10 corn tortillas
- In a blender combine the onion, garlic, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, beef broth, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt, pepper and beef bone broth collagen. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pat the short ribs dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Brown the short ribs in batches, searing every side. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes per batch.
- Place the browned short ribs into the slow cooker and cover them with the ancho chile sauce.
- Cover and cook for 6-8 hours or until the meat is very tender.
- Remove the ribs from the slow cooker, discard the bones and shred the meat.
- Skim the fat from the sauce and discard.
- Return the shredded meat to the sauce and mix together. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the meat in corn tortillas topped with sliced radishes and cilantro.
- If you make this the day before serving, refrigerate the meat and sauce in separate containers. Remove and discard the hardened, separated fat from the top of the sauce before combining the meat and sauce and reheating.
- To keep this recipe Paleo, serve the tacos in grain-free tortillas, lettuce wraps or on cauliflower rice.