Beef Short Ribs and Meatballs with Chipotle and Green Chiles


This Mexican inspired recipe is a great go-to dish for large gatherings, especially when watching sports events or the Academy Awards on TV. You can serve this with rice or soft polenta. Or, offer a stack of warm tortillas and let guests make their own tacos. Any leftovers make a great filling for burritos, enchiladas, or tacos.

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2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or more if desired
1 7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped with sauce
12 mild green chiles such as Anaheim or Poblano, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
4 pounds boneless beef short ribs, external fat trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped onions
4 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth


  1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Sprinkle the spice mixture over all sides of the short ribs. (This step can be done 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and add the beef in batches (do not crowd, overcrowding can cause juices to seep out of the meat.) Brown beef on all sides, about 7-10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter when it is browned.

  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and garlic and cover the pot. Cook until the onions are soft, stirring the vegetables from time to time, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup lime juice and chipotles. When the liquid returns to a boil return the beef with any juices accumulated on the platter. Cover the pot and place it in the middle of the oven. Bake until the meat when sampled is quite tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (You can also simmer on top of the stove.)

  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a large bowl. If the sauce is thin, boil until it becomes slightly syrupy. Add the green chiles and meatballs, cover and simmer until chiles just soften, about 10 minutes. Skim any fat from the surface. Return beef to the pot and simmer until heated through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice. (Can be prepared ahead. Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm in a covered pot over medium heat.) Serve in shallow soup bowls and let each diner add his/her own garnishes.