Rosa's New Mexican Table by Roberto Santibañez includes favorite recipes from the restaurant's menu like Soupy Black Beans, Poblanos Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese (and Ranchera Sauce), and Slow-Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Sauce.
Makes 6 servings
These incredibly succulent short ribs are cooked on the bone for extra flavor and' deboned before serving. They make an ideal party dish because they can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, before the final grilling or broiling. The roasted tomatillo sauce can be made ahead too. I recommend you buy chuck short ribs, because they are large and meaty. Although one pound of meat per person may sound like a lot, after trimming and cooking, you will have the right amount.
For the chipotle adobo puree:
Scrape the contents of a can of chipotles en adobo into a blender and blend at low speed until smooth. Store in a small glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two months.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Trim all the fat and silverskin (the thin whitish gray membrane) from the meaty sides of the ribs. Scatter about half the celery, carrot, onion, and garlic over the bottom of a deep 13 by 9-inch casserole or roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid or other casserole in which the ribs will fit snugly. Lay the ribs over the vegetables, meat side down, overlapping them a little if necessary. (The ribs will shrink as they cook and will end up not overlapping but lying meat side down to soak up all the juices.) Tuck the pasilla chiles, if using, and bay leaves between and around the ribs. Scatter the remaining celery, onion, carrot, and garlic, the oregano, and peppercorns over the ribs. Stir the chipotle puree, salt, and water together until the salt is dissolved. Pour over the ribs and wiggle the casserole to distribute the liquid evenly. Cover the casserole with its lid or a double thickness of heavy-duty foil, crimping it tightly to the sides to make a very tight seal.
Bake until the ribs are tender when poked with a fork; the meat should pull easily away from the bone, but it shouldn't be falling apart. This will take about 3 hours, but check at about 2-1/2 hours. Remove the lid carefully or poke a hole in the foil to allow the steam to escape before removing the foil to check on the ribs. Replace it with new foil if further cooking is needed.
When the ribs are tender, let stand at room temperature until cool, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 2 days.
When ready to finish the dish, wipe or scrape the solidified fat from the ribs and remove the meat from the bone. It may pull away easily or need to be cut away. Trim the cartilage that runs along the sides and back of each piece of beef. You will be left with neat little rectangles of beef. Broil or grill the ribs (see below). Whether broiling or grilling, you want to use low, steady heat to slowly heat the short ribs through while browning them. You'll know the ribs are heated through when fat begins to sizzle on the surface. If the beef starts to brown before the ribs soften and sizzle, remove them from the broiler and lower the heat (or move the rack farther away from the heat), or wait for the coals to die down a little, and try again.
To Broil the Short Ribs: Position a rack about 8 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler, to low if possible. Put the beef with what was the bone side up on the lightly oiled broiler pan. Broil until the top is browned and sizzling, about 6 minutes. Flip and repeat.
To Grill the Short Ribs: Heat a gas grill to low or light a charcoal fire and wait for it to die down until you can hold your hand an inch from the grill for 5 seconds. Using tongs, oil the grill with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Grill the short ribs, turning occasionally, until browned, softened, and sizzling, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, reheat the sauce over low heat, adding small amounts of water as necessary to restore the sauce to the right consistency. Keep warm.
To serve, ladle about 1/3 cup of sauce onto each plate and center a short rib on each.
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