Braised Short Ribs in Tomatillo Sauce / Receta de Costillas de Res en Salsa Verde

short ribs in tomatillo sauce

As soon as the weather starts getting cool my memories take me back to the city of Toluca. But particularly to a small restaurant we used to go for brunch on Sundays. They only served stews made from all kinds of meats with Tomatillo sauce. The stew was served in a bowl which has about a 1/2 cup of  pinto beans with its broth at the bottom and the stew of meat and tomatillo sauce on the top. Add a spoon and stack of handmade corn tortillas and you are in heaven. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. This is a very versatile recipe because you can also use pork or chicken, as well as add vegetables like zucchini, green beans, or any other vegetable you have on hand.

short ribs in green tomatillo sauce
And why do I think about Toluca when it starts getting cold?  Well, the city has this sort of “sweater” climate almost year around. Toluca is a city in the Estado de México. Very close to the other México, the city, the capital of the country. The City of Toluca sits at an altitude of 8,973 Ft above sea level and has an average temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit, it varies from mild, cool, cold and very cold depending on the season. The city is famous for the red and green chorizos made in the region.

It makes 6 generous servings.
  • 2 Lbs. Short ribs
  • 4 avocado leaves (Optional)
  • 1 Lb. and 6 oz. Tomatillos. About 8 medium size tomatillos
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 0.5 oz. árbol peppers, about 5 peppers
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, about 1 bunch
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of meat juices after it is cooked
1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the avocado leaves if using. Slightly toast them for a few seconds per each side, they will release their aroma and turn a little brown. The addition of the leaves will give enhance the flavor of the stew. Remove from the pot to add the ribs.
2. Add the short ribs to the pot and brown well on all sides, place the dry and toasted avocado leaves back into the pot. Add  1/2 cup of water and place the lid. Cook at medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender.
3. While the meat is cooking, prepare the sauce.Place a griddle in a medium high heat and roast the tomatillos and garlic cloves turning occasionally, until they are charred, about 10 minutes. Place the Arbol peppers in the griddle and slightly toasted them. This will take a few seconds. Place the chopped cilantro, peppers, garlic peel removed, tomatillos and the meat juices into a blender. Process until combine and smooth. NOTE: Discard the avocado leaves, I also remove the rib’s bones after they are cooked.
4. Remove the meat pieces from your pot and add the sauce, simmer the sauce for 5 minutes and bring back the ribs to the pot. Keep cooking for 8 more minutes. Add some beef stock if needed. With the help of 2 forks shred the meat a bit and incorporate with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve with warm corn tortillas and white rice or pinto beans.

short ribs in tomatillo sauce

And now... who wants to join me for dinner?

¡Buen provecho!




  1. This looks delicious. I love to cook with short ribs.

  2. Oh my goodness, I would DEFINITELY be in heaven if I was sitting at a table with this meal in front of me. It's making me so hungry just looking at it. I think I need to visit kind of weather and in the heart of the country whose food I adore. I'll talk to mi esposo ;) Delicious, Mely =)

  3. Wow! ésto me encantaaaaaa!!! son de los platillos favoritos de mi marido!!
    Qué delicia Mely, ya extrañaba tu cocina!
    Saludos querida Mely , un besote

  4. I'm in the moods for short ribs. I'm not sure why, but I always think pork when making green tomatillo sauces. I'll try it Saturday with beef short ribs.

  5. I would love to join you for dinner! AS much as I've enjoyed your guest posters, it seems that it's your recipes that always bring me back to a place of comfort (and hunger!).

  6. Mely, I love this dish, it is my absolutely favorite! My mom and sister prepare this all the time and just looking at your pictures made me think of them and I'm drooling all over my keyboard. This is great!

  7. @ Elsa,

    I like short ribs too! They are so tasty.


    I hope you visit Toluca next time you are in Mexico. The weather if always cool. Well almost always. :)

    @ Hola Pily,
    Entonces tu marido es de guisados, como el mio.

    @Hello Kirby,
    If you make them let know if you like them.

    @ Maria Ontiveros,

    Thanks Maria, I really appreciate your kinds words.

    Now, is the time for you to make it friend.

    Saludos a todas y gracias por sus comentarios,


  8. Con res o con cerdo, me encanta este guiso con salsa de tomatillo. Probaré con chile de árbol Mely! Besos.

  9. This looks absolutely amazing. Delicious. A definite comfort dish.


  10. Mely, I'm late in canning tomatillo salsa this year. Your recipe is a nice reminder to get my kitchen act together -- I can't go a year without it!

  11. I will join you for sure, Mely! I made Chile Verde last week with short ribs... one of my favorites. This sounds really good!

  12. Mmmmm.. Mi Ama las hace en salsa rojo, pero quiero probar en salsa verde. Que delicia!

  13. You are making me crave tomatillos and a fire roasted salsa verde. I like the way you did these short ribs.

  14. Hi Mely,
    I have some short ribs in my freezer from the beef that we had slaughtered and this sounds like a perfect recipe for those ribs. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. Thank Everybody! I am glad you all stopped by.


  16. Love it! I miss Mexican food (we moved to Colorado from Texas, it's not the same).

    Thanks for linking up to this week!

  17. It's my first time cooking ribs and I think this recipe will work for me let's see how it turns out thanks for posting it!

  18. I have to say this is one of my favorite recipes. My husband loves this sauce and any leftover is great with eggs the next day. This recipe is one of the top reasons I have a huge bag of árbol peppers and tomatillo plants. I actually think your website is the reason my husband tells everyone I'm such a great cook! Thank you!

    1. Hello Lisa,

      Thank you for letting me know that this recipe is working out for you. The men in my house also love this dish.
      You know, your husband is right. Because no one can add the right amount of seasoning to his food like you do.
      If you check my recipes, I do not mention amount of salt. The cook does that magic.

      Happy cooking and again thank you for your kind comment.

  19. My wife and i had my parents over for lunch today, I made Receta de Costillas de Res en Salsa Verde for them,,Everyone enjoyed it,Your site is AWESOME. (:(:(:

    1. Thanks pennyflyers for your comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Happy cooking!

  20. So happy I found ur web site Mely made the Costilla de Res in salsa verde for my family & loved it very much lots of flavor will definitely try more of ur recipes 👌😋😁

  21. I'm an american cook and now cooking for two Mexican men. They both appreciate your web page since it gives them a taste of home. Instructions are easy to follow. Thanks, Ann

  22. Made this for dinner last night and before we where done eating my 5y/o was asking if we could have leftovers tomorrow! The recipe is very simple and easy. Going to put this one in the regular rotation for dinner. Thanks for sharing. .

    1. Wow! A five year old with a really good taste! ;)

      Happy cooking!

  23. Just discovered your website and tried this recipe last night as I love salsa verde. This was an amazing recipe. Will make it again when having friends over for dinner. Can't wait to try some other recipes. Thank you.

  24. This one turned out awesome. Thanks Mely!


Your comment will take some time to appear. Note: Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...