Procrastination Cooking: Short Rib Tacos

As college students, procrastination is a word that we all know very well. We’re either trying our best to avoid it or we’re hopelessly falling victim to it. Wanting to put real responsibilities on the back burner is inevitable, especially when you’ve got a huge project due in two days and Bravo or TLC decides to have a marathon of one of their (ahem…) thought provoking shows that you’ve already seen 10 times.

Sometimes that paper can wait, or that project can be put on hold for just one more day. However, after one too many episodes of “Hoarders” (crazy) and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (crazier?), you will see the day and your sanity slowly slipping by. So, don’t let your precious time go to total waste—go get creative in the kitchen! Cooking is the perfect form of ‘busy work’ that can sometimes take a while, also known as: the perfect excuse for procrastination.  Slow cooking, simmering, braising, baking, boiling, you name it. Hello, this stuff takes concentration and effort so let’s clear that schedule of yours for a bit longer and make something delicious. Oh, and the best part? You can still watch your favorite procrastination-go-to-guilty pleasure shows at the same time. Win-win.

One of the best time consuming and oh-so-slow cooking meals out there has to be melt in your mouth beef short ribs. It’s the ultimate comfort food and is also surprisingly versatile. Try this delectable take on the classic braised short rib recipe mixed up a bit with a Korean and Mexican flare. With a homemade sweet and savory red onion BBQ sauce to go along with it, these short rib tacos take 3 1/2 hours to cook and will surely get you out of your procrastination slump. So invite pals over and have a feast.

Sarah Cunningham writes about food for Small Kitchen College. She’s a senior at SCAD, where she studies fashion and spends too much money on thrift store knick knacks & tries her best to experiment successfully in the kitchen. Read More…


Short Rib Tacos
Serves 4-5 people

This recipe calls for cilantro but if it’s not your thing, add basil or fresh flat leaf parsley instead.


For the ribs:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds of beef short ribs
1 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried onion
1 teaspoon parsley flakes

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 cups orange juice (no pulp!)
1 cup of plain tomato sauce (no salt added)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sesame teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon brown sugar

For the tacos:
10 small soft white flour tortillas
4 green onion stalks, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 cup chopped cilantro

Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil into a large sauté pan on high heat. Brown the uncooked short ribs for three minutes on each side.  As ribs are browning in the pan, preheat your oven to 350º F. Remove the ribs from the stove and transfer them to a well greased large glass baking dish.

Stir together the remainder of olive oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, dried onion and dried parsley. Once the ingredients are mixed, pour them over the ribs. At this time, the oven should be heated and ready for the ribs to go in.

Leave the ribs in the oven for 25 minutes as you start to prepare the sauce in the same sauté pan the ribs were browned in. Coat the pan with olive oil, add chopped garlic and red onion.

To make the sauce, sautée the oil, red onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Stir in the orange juice, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, sesame teriyaki sauce, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper, and one cup of water. Let this simmer on low heat until the 25 minutes are up and ribs should be removed from the oven.

Let the ribs sit for 5 minutes, then add 2 cups of the simmering sauce to the baking dish, evenly coating every inch of the meat. Put the ribs back into the oven for 3 hours with the remaining sauce still on the stove on a low simmer.

As the ribs cook, check once every hour to make sure that there is still liquid remaining. If not, add 1/2 cup of the sauce to keep the meat moist.

Once 3 hours are up, remove the ribs from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Leave the oven heated at 350º F and transfer the ribs to a cutting board. With two forks, begin to shred the meat. At this point, the meat should be basically falling off the bone, so shredding will be easy. Separate the shredded meat from the bones and throw into the sauce pan. Stir it all around so the shredded meat is completely covered in the sauce. Remove from heat and gather your other ingredients for the garnishing and wrapping.

Cover the soft tortilla wraps in a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds. This will leave them warm and ready to be filled. Lay two tortillas on each plate (this recipe serves four/five, so there will be four or five plates) and add the sauce covered shredded meat, chopped green & red onions and cilantro.

Serve warm, wrapped up like a soft taco.

Recipe Index Keywords:

Categories: Campus Cooking, Featured, and Recipes.
Cooking Method: In the Oven and On the Stove.
Mealtime: Dinner.
I'm Cooking For...: Birthday, Cinco de Mayo, Dates, Dinner Party, Myself, and Superbowl.
Type of Food: Meat.
I Don't Eat: Dairy.

Originally posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2011

2 Responses to “Procrastination Cooking: Short Rib Tacos”

  1. wee

    August 19th, 2011

    I’ve noticed two kinds of short ribs in our store – either the individually cut ribs, or a slab of them. Does it make a difference what kind you use? Or do you recommend one over the other?

  2. Sarah Cunningham

    August 19th, 2011


    I would definitely recommend the slab of them for this recipe. That’s what I used and I found that it cooked quicker than the individual ones and fell off the bone easier.


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