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Grilled Mexican short ribs

Great Mexican flavor with a hint of Mesquite smoke
Great Mexican flavor with a hint of Mesquite smoke
Gary Glen

As we enter the Cinco de Mayo weekend, did you know that May is also National Grilling Month? Why not amp up the festivities by combining these two great occasions. After all, nothing says Mexican cuisine more than smokey, fire-seared meat.

These beef short ribs are abundant with the flavors of Mexico along with a kiss of Mesquite smoked goodness. Viva la Mexico!

You'll need a side dish to serve with the ribs. These Mexican baked beans compliment the ribs perfectly!


  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers, finely diced for garnish (if desired)
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • a handful Mesquite smoking chips


  1. Combine the first nine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Continue to simmer until bouillon cube has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a plastic zip lock freezer bag or baking dish, place beef ribs and add the marinade. Force out the air and seal or cover baking dish. Place in a refrigerator and allow ribs to marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight. 24 hours is best. Turn every few hours.
  3. Remove ribs from marinade and set aside. Allow to reach room temperature.
  4. Pour remaining marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Prepare a medium fire for indirect cooking. About 350-degrees F.
  6. Place ribs on the grill, away from the heat. Add mesquite chips and cover. Maintain the grill temperature and allow the ribs to cook for about an hour.
  7. Move ribs directly over the fire while turning and basting frequently with the reserved marinade.
  8. Cook until ribs are browned, slightly crisp and tender. An instant-read meat thermometer is also helpful. Meat is medium when thermometer reads 140-degrees F. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro and diced Jalapeno peppers and serve.

Caution: Although Mesquite adds a wonderful Tex-Mex flavor to meat, a little goes a long way. If in doubt, a little is best.

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