These are an easy Cinco de Mayo snack. I mean, in my house nachos are a meal, but I assume you’re a better person than I am. If you get the short rib ready ahead of time, basically you’re chopping a few vegetables and warming food. I even have ovenware plates, which is the ultimate in
laziness nacho luxury.
Pictured here, my particular formulation of nachos are paleo, grain free, gluten free, and dairy free. I used Siete Lime Tortilla chips (grain free!) and cashew nacho cheese. The Siete chips are very good. They hold up in the oven and microwave. The cashew cheese is relatively easy to make, although not photogenic like real cheese. However, these nachos come out just as well with corn tortillas and melty monterey and cheddar. The star is really the beef (always!).
Buying Short Ribs
These cuts are typically taken from the underside of the cow. They are flavorful, especially if the bone is still attached while cooking. Typically each rib will be separated from the other, with meat attached to one side. They are sold boneless, which can certainly be used in this recipe, although I prefer bone-in for flavor. It is definitely a cut that requires low (heat) and slow (long cooking times).
The Short Ribs
I buy bone-in short ribs. I feel like you get more flavor out of them, plus they look so manly. The trick with short rib is to braise in the oven or the stove-top covered beyond them being technically “cooked.” You do not want rare or medium-rare short rib. You want to have enough liquid in the pan to be able to let them sit at low heat for hours and hour. If you take them out at the 3 hour mark and they’re not falling off the bone, they need longer. It’s a little counterintuitive since we’ve gone around learning that overcooking meat makes it chewy.
Here’s the “recipe” that involves very little:
- Let the ribs sit out for 30-60 minutes to warm to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a sauté pan or dutch oven to medium high with your favorite high-temp oil (coconut, canola, etc). Sear each side of the ribs for a minute to seal in flavor.
- Move from sauté pan to roasting pan with lid, pyrex bakeware with aluminum foil, or leave in dutch oven with lid. Pour your favorite slow-cooker sauce over, ensuring each rib sits in at least a half inch of liquid. I always use Frontera Red Chile Barbacoa sauce. Put it in the oven covered and set the timer for 3 hours.
- Pull the out to test at 3 hours. If the meat does not fall off the bone with a spoon, they need to go back in at 300 or 275 for as long as it takes. Check every 20-30 minutes.
- Once the meat is falling apart, after resting in the sauce for 5 minutes, move just the meat to a large bowl. Remove gristle and very fatty pieces as much as possible. With two forks, one pinning the meat down, drag the other fork away to pull the meat and shred it. Once it is all shredded, take some sauce from the pan and spoon it on top of the shredded meat (not too much!).
Plate the Nachos
Your oven should still be at 300 for the short rib. Turn it to 350. On a pan or oven-safe dish, put down your chips of choice. Again, I love the Siete Lime chips. If you’re going to pile the nachos high, make them in layers. Cheese goes down first on the chips, regardless of whether you’re using cashew or dairy. Anything that you’re using that should be served warm gets piled up. Short rib goes on top, and I pile mine in the middle so that it won’t dry out. Pop it all into the oven for 5-10 minutes, or however long the cheese needs to melt. Pull them out and get on the cold toppings. I always do some kind of fresh salsa, guacamole, and a crunchy vegetable like cabbage or lettuce.