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Smoked Short Rib Tacos


Hand-shredded prime beef in fried wonton wrappers. Recipe courtesy of Reserve Cut, located in downtown Manhattan.  At Reserve Cut, this appetizer is served with a pineapple, tomato, and cilantro salsa. Add red onion, a finely diced jalapeño pepper, lime juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.


Prepare the Smoked Short Rib Tacos

Yields 24 mini tacos


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven; brown the ribs on all sides, about five minutes, working in batches if necessary. Sprinkle ribs with salt and black pepper as they brown. Transfer cooked ribs to paper towels to absorb extra oil.


Stir garlic into remaining oil in pan; cook until fragrant, about one more minute. Mix in tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, beef stock, vinegar, mustard, and jalapeños. Bring sauce to a boil; lower heat and simmer for one minute to blend flavors. Stir in browned ribs.


Cover the pot and bake in the preheated oven until the rib meat is very tender, about two and a half hours. Turn the ribs occasionally while cooking.


Shred beef using two forks. Season with salt and pepper. Place into a clean pan; add some of the cooking sauce. Heat until warm. Fill fried wonton wrappers with shredded beef (see note on frying wontons).


A chipotle chili is a jalapeño pepper that has been smoked and dried (“chipotle” means “smoked”). The chilies require a hechsher. The chipotle imparts a smoky flavor to this dish. There are many different kinds of chilies, though, if you find a different type, you’ll still get the kick without the smoke. Kosher chipotles are easily found online.


To shred the beef more quickly, you might want to try a cooking tool called a “claw.”


There are a few ways to fry wonton wrappers so they take the shape of a taco. To shape them perfectly, like the restaurant does, you’ll need a taco shell deep fryer basket. A taco shell maker/taco press, which looks like tongs, will also shape a wonton as it fries, but you have to fry them one at a time. You can make a mini taco shell without any gadgets, though. Heat oil in a sauté pan or skillet. Fold the wonton wrapper in half and dip one side into the hot oil. Use a fork to press it down at the bottom. Use tongs to hold the top half in place. Once the bottom becomes stiff and crisp, flip and fry the opposite side.


Reproduced from Secret Restaurant Recipes by Victoria Dwek and Leah Schapira with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD.