These Short Rib Quesadillas are not an easy weeknight dinner. The short ribs themselves take a few hours on the stove to truly dissolve into tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Rarely does a week goes by that quesadillas are not the star attraction at dinner time in my house. Every trip to the grocery store involves the purchase of tortillas, grated cheese, and a bag of avocados. By the time the avocados decide to ripen, there tends to be a few rogue ingredients kicking around to stuff into a quesadilla, whether it be the remains of a rotisserie chicken and a can of black beans, some leftover roasted veggies, or even scrambled eggs.
I’m even told most children enjoy quesadillas, although my toddler remains firmly committed to the pretzel and grape diet. He promised to make a New Year’s resolution to explore more options, though.
I’m not going to lie. These Short Rib Quesadillas are not an easy weeknight dinner. The short ribs themselves take a few hours on the stove to truly dissolve into tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Although somewhat time consuming, it’s simple enough to pop these ribs on the stove for a long braise on a freezing winter afternoon, while you’re trapped in the house. Since you’re in freezing mode anyway, consider making a double batch of meat for your freezer. Then you really will have a quick quesadilla dinner ready to go.
Short Rib Quesadillas
For the beef:
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed of most fat
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with chipotle chiles
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 cups no sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
For the quesadillas:
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
8- 10 corn tortillas
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
nonstick cooking spray
Place a large dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over a medium high flame. Add the olive oil to the pot. Then, add the short ribs, and brown on all sides.
Remove the short ribs to a plate, and drain all the fat. Add the tomato paste to the pan, and break up the clump with a rubber spatula. Add the can of tomatoes and chipotles, chopped garlic, beef broth, and chili powder to the pot. Stir well.
Return the short ribs to the pot and bring the whole thing to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 2 1/2- 3 hours, or until the ribs are fork tender.
Remove the ribs to a plate.
Increase the heat to high, and reduce the liquid remaining in the pot to two cups. Skim as much fat as possible off the top. If it still seems very greasy, spoon all the sauce into a tall measuring cup and put it in the freezer until the fat settles on the top and congeals. Then it can be easily spooned out and discarded.
Meanwhile, use two forks to shred the beef. Discard any large pieces of fat, bone or cartilage.
Return the shredded beef and liquid to the pot. Add the defrosted corn kernels. Stir well. Reheat gently if it’s gotten too cool.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. If the tortillas are too stiff to fold, warm them quickly in the skillet before adding fillings.
Assemble the quesadillas quickly, dividing the beef mixture and the cheese evenly among the tortillas.
Fold them over gently and spray both sides lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Slide them into the pan and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy, about one or two minutes per side.
Serve immediately with hot sauce, lime wedges, pico de gallo, sour cream, and sliced avocados.
This recipe will yield 8-10 quesadillas.