Photo by Marcus Nilsson, Prop Styling by Amy Wilson, Food Styling by Frances Boswell
Make this when it’s Sunday and you’re not leaving the house. One spoonful of this smoky-spicy guajillo braising liquid and you’ll understand just how complex dried chiles can be. When soaked in hot water and blended with aromatics, they create a base so flavorful you don’t even need stock. The chile purée may seem like a lot of liquid at first, but don't worry: Keeping the pot slightly uncovered as the ribs cook will allow the sauce to reduce and concentrate.
- 4 servings
- 2 1/2 lb. (2"-thick) cross-cut bone-in short ribs (flanken style), cut into 2×2" pieces
- Kosher salt
- 2 dried guajillo or ancho chiles, seeds removed
- 1 large onion, sliced into 1/2"-thick rounds
- 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 acorn squash (about 1 lb.), seeds removed, sliced lengthwise into 1"-thick wedges
- Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, cilantro sprigs, and lime wedges (for serving)
- Season ribs with salt. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour, or chill, uncovered, up to 12 hours. If chilling, let sit at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
- Meanwhile, place chiles and 5 cups hot water in a blender and let sit while you prep onion and garlic.
- Heat broiler. Broil onion and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet, undisturbed, until charred on top (don’t worry if they get super dark), 8–10 minutes.
- Pop garlic out of their skins and place garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon in blender with chiles. Blend until smooth but still speckled with chiles; season purée lightly with salt. Set aside.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium heavy pot over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook ribs, turning occasionally and reducing heat if needed, until browned all over, 10–12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
- Carefully pour off oil and wipe out pot. Pour remaining 1 Tbsp. oil into pot and place back over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste begins to separate and stick to pot, about 3 minutes. Stir in chile purée. Return ribs to pot and bring liquid to a simmer. Partially cover pot and cook, reducing heat to low to maintain a very gentle simmer, turning ribs occasionally, and skimming any excess fat from surface, until meat is very tender, 3–3 1/2 hours. (If sauce gets thick before meat is done, add water as needed to thin out a bit.)
- Add squash to pot and push down so it’s mostly submerged. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until squash is tender and liquid is thickened and saucy, 18–20 minutes.
- Serve ribs and squash, topped with yogurt and cilantro, with lime wedges.
- Do Ahead: Ribs (without toppings) can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.
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