The ribs’ flavor will improve the longer they sit in their braising liquid, making this a good do-ahead dish (up to 4 to 5 days in advance). Just reheat and make the grits when ready to serve.

Serves 4


3 dried ancho chilies
½ cup raisins
2 teaspoons canola oil
4 meaty beef short ribs (about 3½ pounds total)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 chipotle chilies, seeded, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from 1 can chipotles in adobo
⅓ cup light brown sugar
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks

Manchego Grits
3 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1½ cups stone-ground grits
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup grated Manchego (we love the excellent La Oveja Negra Manchego)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



1. Heat oven to 325°F. Place ancho chilies and raisins in two separate small bowls. Cover both with hot water and let stand 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain, discarding liquid. Seed and stem the chilies.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat short ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total.

3. While ribs are searing, prepare the braising sauce. Place garlic, onion, chicken stock, chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, and brown sugar in a food processor or blender, along with the soaked ancho chilies and raisins. Blend until sauce is mostly smooth (it should retain some texture). Stir in large pinches of salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

4. After short ribs have browned, transfer to a plate. Pour the excess fat from the pan and discard. Add braising sauce, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 5 minutes. Return ribs to the pot, bring back to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Cook until ribs are tender and can be pulled apart with a fork, 2½ to 3 hours total. Remove from oven, spoon fat from the surface, and discard. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. When cool enough to handle, shred meat with a fork and discard the bones.

Manchego Grits

1. About 30 minutes before serving, bring water and milk to a boil in large saucepan. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits have thickened and fully absorbed the liquid, about 30 minutes. Add a little extra milk or water to thin if desired. Stir in butter and Manchego. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve braised short ribs over bowls of hot grits.

Recipe by Molly Shuster, courtesy of Culture Magazine