Seriously Upgrade Your Bowl Of Chili With Short Ribs

Classic chili con carne is a staple in many American households. It's quick to make, loaded with nutritious beans and veggies (unless you're a Texas chili purist), uses mainly shelf-stable ingredients, and is a perfect example of hearty home cooking. But what about when you're tired of the same ground beef dish you've had for years? One swap will take your chili to the next level of flavor — beef short ribs. Beef short ribs are often braised and served atop a mountain of pillowy mashed potatoes, but they can hold their own in a savory chili just as well. 

Of course, short ribs take some time to break down into that delicious shredded texture. The key is to sear them until they have a nice bit of color, then slowly cook them in an oven or slow cooker for several hours in a chili-base braising liquid. While this adds time to the recipe, it's passive time, and the rest of the process should look pretty similar to your usual chili prep. And the payoff is more than worth a few extra hours of cooking time. 

What to pair with short rib chili

Short ribs are very versatile, so you can use them in whatever chili recipe you prefer, with the option of making that bowl of red as spicy as your heart desires. However, you need to pay attention to the order in which you put things into the pot. Some ingredients, like chili peppers, onions, and tomatoes, can withstand long cooking times and won't lose flavor or texture. These are ideal for including in the braising liquid, as they'll impart their flavors into the broth and the meat itself. However, ingredients with shorter cooking times, like black beans and sweet corn, should only be added after the short ribs are shredded,  

Short rib chili tastes great with a dollop of tangy sour cream. Freshly shredded pepper jack cheese or crumbled cotija are also great toppings. If you want some fresh veggies and herbs, you can't go wrong with sliced avocado and cilantro. Finally, you can serve the chili on its own with a squeeze of fresh lime, but if you want to stretch the chili further because, let's face it, short ribs aren't cheap, serve it with cornbread or even on top of white rice. This is ideal if you're cooking for a party or large family. Not sure what to do with leftover chili? Turn it into a chip dip, quesadilla, or casserole.