Coke-Braised Short Rib Tacos: Food Truck Frenzy!

By Erika on October 17th, 2013 / / No Comments

Coke-Braised Short Rib Tacos The Hopeless Housewife

It seems every home cook has their own way that ribs MUST be cooked– my friend’s husband boils baby back ribs in coke for hours. He does a lot of other stuff but that is what really stuck with me because it is so weird to see these ribs boiling in Coke– I couldn’t help but obsess over his process until they were done. They are very good but I swear he boiled those ribs for something like 6 hours!! This recipe is very different. We ARE using Coke but there will be no boiling here…and we are using short ribs. These Coke-Braised Short Rib Tacos are inspired by all the taco trucks I visited in my lifetime growing up in Southern California…


Yield: 10-12 tacos

Coke-Braised Short Rib Tacos: Food Truck Frenzy!

Coke-Braised Short Rib Tacos: Food Truck Frenzy!


For the Ribs

  • 5 meaty short ribs, about 1 1/2- 2 pounds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced finely
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup Coke (or any other cola- save the rest in case you need to add later for sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

For Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (green or red)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Pico de Gallo:

  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno, seeds removed if you're worried about heat
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • squeeze of fresh lime
  • salt to taste

For assembly:

  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • 2 avocados, with pit removed and cut into small chunks


Start the short ribs

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a heavy oven-proof dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and sear each side of the short ribs until they are a nice caramelized brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside (do not clean dutch oven out).
  2. In a food processor, purée celery, carrots and onion. Heat the same dutch oven over medium heat and add vegetables. Sauté until tender, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in garlic and sauté another minute. Add red wine and deglaze pan, making sure to incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef stock and Coke, thyme and bay leaves. Stir well, cooking until it starts to bubble.
  3. Lay the seared short ribs on top of the vegetables and cover the dutch oven. Place in oven and cook for about 3-4 hours, until the short ribs are very tender and fall off the bone (I do mine in 3 hours and they’re quite tender). When the short ribs are finished, pul them out of the sauce and remove meat, discarding the fat and bones. If sauce has a lot of fat on the top, use a baster to remove. If sauce is too thin, put the dutch oven over medium high heat and reduce the liquid. Taste to see if sauce needs a little more Coke and add if necessary, reducing after you add. Season to taste with salt and pepper AFTER you reduce the liquid. Add short rib meat back to the finished sauce.

Make the slaw.

  1. In a small bowl, mix cabbage with apple cider vinegar and salt. Set aside.

Make the pico de gallo

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and season to taste with salt. Set aside.
  2. Heat tortillas, one at a time, over an electric or gas burner until warm and slightly charred.
  3. Layer short rib meat, slaw, pico de gallo and avocado. Serve.

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