Gluten-Free Short Rib Enchiladas
I call these enchiladas “company enchiladas”. Not just because they are a bit of a labor of love but because they are so darn special!
Short ribs are one of my favorite cuts of beef. If you cook them long enough and infuse enough flavor, they are a fabulous meal for way less than you spend on pricier cuts of beef.
Honestly, if you didn’t want to make enchiladas, you could cook the short ribs, serve then over rice or polenta with maybe a few garnishes to jazz then up a bit, and they would be a fantastic company meal. But hey, what’s not to love about enchiladas?
I like to cook my short ribs in an instant pot because they don’t take that long to cook but if you don’t have an instant pot, here’s a couple alternatives for cooking the short ribs themselves:
• Slow cooker – no adjustments to the recipe just cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat o falling off the bone.
• Oven – Cook in a Dutch oven, double the beef broth in the recipe and cook in the oven at 325 degrees for 3 ½ hours, turning the short ribs every 45 minutes.
• Stove top – Cook in a Dutch oven, double the beef broth and have more on hand just in case. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3/12 – hours. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot. If not, add more. Turn the ribs occasionally.
When using the Instant Pot, I still like to brown my ribs and cook the onions and peppers in a Dutch oven or heavy pot, I fell I get a better sear on the ribs than using the sauté feature on the Instant Pot but if you want to go that route, feel free.
Sometimes I make the short ribs the day ahead to save time the day of. If you want to do the same, let the ribs cool off then refrigerate in the pot with the liquid and veggies. The next day scrap off all the fat that has accumulate on the top. And proceed from there.
A little note about the tortillas – normally I heat tortillas in some of the sauce, fill and roll. That’s kind of the traditional way. But at my little Mexican hole in the wall (that I frequent WAY too much!) they fry the tortillas lightly in oil before rolling. This adds a whole other dimension to the flavor. Also, instead of rolling the tortillas around filling, I have found it so much easier to just layer them, like lasagna. When you do this with the lightly fried tortillas it is not only quicker to assemble but the resulting dish looks better for serving to a crowd.
I like to cut my tortillas in half when layering them so that I can get straight edges at the side of the baking dish and it seems to make it easier to cover each layer.
Be sure your enchilada sauce is gluten-free! Many brands contain wheat flour as a thickener. I used Hatch red enchilada sauce for these.
Enough chit chat about enchiladas, let’s make some!
Gluten-Free Short Rib Enchiladas Recipe
- 5 pounds bone-in short ribs
- Kosher or fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil , plus more for frying the tortillas
- 1 large red onion , diced
- 1 large poblano pepper , seeded and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 chipotle in adobo peppers , minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ cup tequila
- 1 cup gluten free beef broth
- 2 (15 ounce) cans Hatch Red Enchilada Sauce
- 18 gluten free corn tortillas
- 6 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 4 ounces cotija cheese , crumbled
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Season the short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or heavy skillet. Brown the short ribs in batches until they are nicely seared, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the ribs and let aside on a plate.
- Add the onion and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotles, and cumin and cook, stirring for another 60 seconds. Pour the tequila into the pan and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to the Instant Pot, add the ribs and beef broth and cook on high for 50 minutes then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Remove the ribs to a plate and let cool until cool enough to handle. Strain the vegetables through a fine mesh strainer into a large liquid measuring cup. Place the measuring cup in the freezer while the short ribs cool, about 15-20 minutes. Put the vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9 by 12 (or similar) baking pan.
- Shred the short ribs, removing any fat or connective tissue, into the bowl with the vegetables and mix.
- Spoon off as much of the at that has risen to the top of the cooking liquid. Pour 1 cup of the liquid into a medium mixing bowl, add the enchilada sauce, and stir to combine.
- Pour enough oil into a large skillet to come up ¼ - ½ inch. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cut the tortillas in half and fry them for about 10-20 seconds per side or until softened and just starting to lightly brown. Drain on the paper towels.
- Pour 1½ cups of the enchilada sauce mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place a layer of tortillas on the bottom of the pan. Top with half the meat mixture, spreading into an even layer, and spread a layer of 2 cups cheese on top. Repeat the layers then top with 1½ cups of enchilada sauce. Top with a layer of tortillas, the rest of the sauce, the last 2 cups of Mexican cheese and crumble the cotija cheese over the top.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for another 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes, garnish with cilantro and serve.