The RV Chronicles — Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

Some time between 2000 and 2002, I was eating at La Mansion del Prado, a restaurant in the now off-limits Mexican border town of Reynosa and ordered — out of habit — the tres leches cake. I’d previously had multiple versions of it. Always delicious, but hardly a dessert worth the history books. Until then.

I don’t recall what the server told me, but I do remember him saying that cow’s and goat’s milk were among the ingredients. Not what I was used to … and absolutely outstanding.

A few years earlier, I donned a (required) dinner jacket to dine at Uncle Tai’s Hunan Yuan, a popular Dallas Chinese eatery at the time. I told the server that I like scallops and eggplant, and to have the chef create something for me. The result was — to this day — among my favorite meals ever eaten beyond the confines of my home.

Truth is, one never knows when culinary greatness might occur. But Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos are a sure thing. The meat is a melt-in-your-mouth. The seasoning gets there for the international cash. It’s a wonderful fusion. If you haven’t nibbled too much right from the cooking pot, you might just have enough to make tacos.

Put this one on your to-make list, because if I can create this succulent toothsome Heaven in an RV … Well, you know.

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Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos

Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos —

Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos — Melt. In. Your. Mouth.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos
Coconut Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos —
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian/Tex-Mex
Serves: 6
  • 3 lbs – Beef short ribs*
  • 1 can (13½ oz) – Coconut milk
  • 1 cup – Beef stock
  • 3 – Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch nub – Ginger, chopped
  • 2 TB – Sambal oelek
  • 3 TB – Fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 4-5 – Basil leaves
  • 4-5 – Fresh Kaffir Lime leaves (or 8-10 dry Kaffir Lime leaves)**
  • 1 TB – Neutral oil (vegetable, grapeseed, or canola)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 – Corn tortillas
  • Cole slaw mix/broccoli slaw mix
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.***
  2. Salt and pepper ribs liberally.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil to medium-high.
  4. Sear the ribs on all sides, adding garlic, ginger and sambal oelek during the last minute or so of browning.
  5. Add coconut milk, beef stock, fish sauce, basil and kaffir lime leaves.
  6. Cover and and place in preheated oven.
  7. Cook until meat falls from bone, about 4 hours.
  8. With a strainer spoon, remove meat from cooking liquid and set aside to cool.
  9. Remove excess fat as desired. (The meat will shred on its own.)
  10. Serve in steamed corn tortillas with fresh cilantro leaves and slaw/broccoli slaw.
Steamed tortillas
  1. Heat a skillet or griddle over a medium-high setting.
  2. Dip tortillas in water and carefully place in hot skillet.
  3. Cook for about 30 seconds, then flip and cook another 30 seconds.
  4. Add cooked tortillas, one at a time, to a towel-wrapped stack (this allows them to continue steaming).
*Substitute 2½ lbs chuck or brisket
**Substitute zest from 2 limes
***Can use slow cooker 'low' setting with fabulous results. Allow ribs to cook about 7 hours.



  1. You shut your mouth. Definitely culinary greatness – I’m impressed!!

  2. Kathryn @ anotherfoodieblogger says:

    I am pleased to see Sambal Oelek is not optional anymore. 😉 These look outstanding, Adam!

  3. There’s something about braising short ribs in coconut milk that just flat out sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing this one Adam.

  4. And by the way, did you make those flour tortillas? They sure don’t look store bought – at least not big box store bought. Great looking meal.

    • adamjholland says:

      Those are corn tortillas and they are steamed, per the instructions in the recipe. It’s an excellent way to get a decent tasting store bought tortilla.

  5. And another by the way …. what did you sprinkle on those avocados?

  6. These sure look fantastic – does it have a coconutty taste or is all the pretty much cooked out?

    • adamjholland says:

      Coconut milk doesn’t taste like coconut at all … not in my opinion anyway. It’s very mild and slightly ‘nutty’ (but not in a coconut way). If you’ve never cooked with it, give it a shot.

  7. Isn’t it funny where culinary greatness is found. Obviously it is found in this recipe! I would love to try this with brisket!

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