I'm really excited to show you this recipe, not only because it's one of the best beef stews ever, but also because after we enjoy this in stew form, we're doing a follow-up video using this to make some of the most incredible tacos you've ever had. If you like beef stew, and you're a fan of chili, you're going to go nuts over this. Serve with lime wedges as-is, or with warm flour tortillas, chili oil, salsa, or diced avocado next to some Spanish rice and a nice green salad.


Recipe Summary

30 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
6 hrs
10 hrs 10 mins
10 servings


Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut each beef short rib through the middle, all the way down to the bone. Cut beef chuck in half; cut each half into 3- to 4-inch pieces.

  • Place beef chuck and short ribs into a soup pot and season with salt, black pepper, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Toss very thoroughly until the meat is evenly coated with the spices, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Cover and transfer into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

  • Prep guajillo chiles by snipping off stems with scissors; slice open and scrape or shake out the seeds onto a plate to discard.

  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add dried guajillo chiles and toss in the hot oil, about 30 seconds. Add chopped onion, garlic, and ginger; toss to combine. Add tomatoes and water, raise heat to high, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Turn off heat and use an immersion blender to blend the mixture as smooth as possible, or transfer to a regular blender, working in batches as needed.

  • Remove the soup pot with meat from the refrigerator. Strain the reserved chili mixture into the pot using a large mesh strainer. Add bay leaves, honey, vinegar, and chicken broth.

  • Bring to a boil over high heat, and then lower to medium-low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling-apart tender, 3 to 4 hours. Skim fat off of the top and reserve for future birria queso tacos.

  • Place some chunks of beef into a soup bowl and ladle some of the cooking liquid over top. Top with white onion and chopped cilantro and squeeze lime juice over top.

Chef's Notes:

The rule of thumb for this kind of thing is to use 1 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of meat.

This will work with other dried chiles-such as ancho, pasilla, or California. You can use water with chicken bouillon powder instead of chicken broth.

Water or broth can be added as needed to keep the stew brothy as it simmers, or it can be allowed to reduce and thicken as it cooks. The beef can be served in large chunks or shredded with a fork.

If you enjoyed this with beef, you should really get some goat or lamb and do it that way, too. That little bit of extra gaminess you gain with those meats really does work out, even with this flavor profile.

Nutrition Facts

375 calories; protein 21.1g 42% DV; carbohydrates 8.1g 3% DV; fat 28.4g 44% DV; cholesterol 82mg 27% DV; sodium 1286.6mg 52% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Fantastic as usual Chef John! No changes at all Now where is the taco recipe? Lol Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made this and did part of the steps of the next video for the tacos. I took the meat out and pulled it apart, then cooked down the sauce a bit more (30mins-1 hour) and put the meat back in the sauce to heat back up. Then served in the sauce to be put directly on tacos. Super jucy meat and so delicious. Great recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Thank you Chef John this is awesome! I used some leg of lamb for it. Really yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Amazing! My only change was to use 100% chuck instead of the chuck/short ribs combo for both convenience and price. Turned out great, restaurant quality recipe!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
So delicious, definitely a do-over. There was so much flavor it was incredible. They didn't have short ribs on the bone at the store when I went but that didn't matter too much, just guessing I missed on a bit of flavor from the bones. Otherwise such an incredible recipe, so good, totally recommend Read More
Rating: 5 stars
What a delicious dish! I made no changes—the spicing was perfect. I would definitely make this again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
As my wife and I watched Chef John's video a couple weeks ago I said to myself that I am going to make this for her birthday dinner. I followed the recipe exactly, and like Chef John, I reduced it so it's more of a thick stew. I served it over quinoa with some chopped onions, cilantro and lime and a salad on the side. Paired it with a nice Malbec from Argentina. A++++++ stew. I'm definitely making the tacos with the leftovers. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I didn't have any short rib, and I subbed vegetable base for chicken broth, it turned out splendidly in spite of that. I will definitely be making this again. It almost tasted chocolatey, the sauce was so thick, and rich. Fantastic. Do yourself a solid, and make this dish. You will not regret it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Amazing flavors! I used ground Guajillo. 1 tsp = 1 pepper. ( It'll seem like a lot when you measure it out, but it's the right amount) I also used a combo of short ribs and lamb. Also made the birria tacos that chef John has a recipe for. Incredible! Don't miss this one. The most flavorful braised meat I've had, and Incredible tacos. Read More