Mexican Short Ribs with Dried Cherries


The unique Chile-Cocoa Spice Mix brings depth of flavor to this slow cooker short rib dinner.

Mexican Short Ribs with Dried Cherries
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
30 mins
Slow Cook Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 16 ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained (2 cups)

  • 3 tablespoon Mexican Chile-Cocoa Spice Mix

  • 3 pound bone-in beef short ribs (6), trimmed

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (undrained)

  • ¾ cup lower-sodium beef broth

  • cup dried tart red cherries

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Lime wedges

Mexican Chile-Cocoa Spice Mix

  • 2 tablespoon ancho chile powder

  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or dried oregano, crushed

  • 2 teaspoon cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the sweet peppers and spice. Cover and puree until smooth; set aside. Season beef all over with salt and pepper. Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until deep brown all over, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a plate and drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan.

  2. Add onion to pan and cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until golden. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute more.

  3. Add red pepper puree to the onion mixture. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes.

  4. Place a disposable slow cooker liner in a 6-quart slow cooker. Combine onion mixture, tomatoes, broth, cherries, and ribs, along with any juices on plate. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

  5. Remove ribs to a platter. Skim excess fat from cooking juices. Serve sauce over ribs and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Mexican Chile-Cocoa Spice Mix

  1. Shake everything together in a small jar, cover and store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.

Oven Method:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Increase broth to 1 1/2 cups. Add broth, tomatoes, cherries, ribs, plus any juices on plate to the Dutch oven. Bring to boiling. Cover and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender. Remove ribs to a platter. Skim excess fat from liquid in pan and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour thickened sauce over ribs and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Mexican Beef Stew with Dried Cherries:

Prepare as above, except substitute 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes for the short ribs. Brown in the sprayed Dutch oven half at a time, adding vegetable oil if necessary. Continue as above for slow cooker or oven, except do not remove beef from sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

303 Calories
13g Fat
22g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 303
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 705mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 153.8mg 769%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 3.9mg 22%
Potassium 820mg 17%
Folate, total 18.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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