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Low Carb Mexican Braised Short Ribs

Low Carb Mexican Braised Short Ribs
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Braised Short Ribs are so rich and fatty and good…..and low carb and keto!  Add a Mexican flair to them and you have a flavor-intense dinner that will make those cold winter evenings feel like a reward!

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Low carb Mexican braised short ribs in a skillet
Low carb Mexican braised short ribs

What Type of Meat are Short Ribs?

Beef short ribs are similar to pork “spare ribs”, except they are usually larger and meatier; and they come from a cow rather than a pig of course.

The photo above is the dish I made with standard beef short ribs. I have made this dish with the boneless type of beef short ribs also (aka country-style ribs) and it was great both ways.

Beef short ribs are best braised, stewed or slow-cooked in liquid over low heat in order to yield tender meat.

Short ribs are pretty fatty, but then if you are on a keto or low carb diet, that is often desirable. The boneless country style ribs have less fat if that is your preference.

Good Low Carb Sides to Pair with Braised Short Ribs

The vegetables that pack the highest nutritional punch with the lowest level of carbs are”greens”, and all of the greens make a great side dish pairing with the braised short ribs.

Greens would include such veggies as spinach, chard, mustard greens, collard greens, swiss chard, salad greens, etc.) Here is an easy recipe for Korean spinach and a few other great side dishes that you may want to try.

Bok Choy and Asian greens are especially good companion side dishes, as they add a clean, slightly bitter note to go with the rich, fatty short ribs. Here is an easy recipe for bok choy.

Add a Mexican Flair to Braised Short Ribs

Adding some complex, smoky chile spices to this dish really enhances the depth of flavor and takes it to new heights. I also added enchilada sauce to deglaze the pot rather than beef broth.

Fresh smoked chile spices, as well as an Enchilada blend can be found here.

Mexican Braised Short Ribs

Low carb Mexican braised short ribs in a skillet
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Servings 4
Calories 633


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs beef short ribs
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp spicy chipotle
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme option: use 1 tsp dried
  • 2-3 cups water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a dutch oven (or ovenproof large pot) and heat over med-high.
  • Pat ribs dry with a paper towel and begin adding them to the pot in batches to sear (to brown).  Only add one layer of ribs to the pot at a time so as not to overcrowd the pot.  If using country style ribs cut in thirds horizontally ahead of searing.  Brown all sides of the ribs until the edges form a golden brown crust.  Once browned remove from pot and set aside
  • Once ribs are removed from pot, add 2 more Tbsp oil and the sliced onions.  Saute onions over med-high heat for about 6 minutes or until caramelized but not burned.
  • Add garlic to onions and cook for 30 seconds.  Add spices and salt and stir for a minute to toast spices.  
  • Deglaze the pot with the enchilada sauce, scraping off any brown-bits that hav formed on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add back in the browned ribs to the pot, along with any juices that drained from the ribs.  Add the thyme.  Also add enough water to almost cover the ribs (about 2 cups)
  • Bring everything to a boil, cover, and transfer to the preheated oven.  Cook for 3 hours.  Check occasionally and add more water if ribs are starting to dry out.
  • Transfer to a serving dish or serve from the pot.  Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges if desired.  You can make this dish ahead of time and reheat over the stove before serving.  The flavors continue to develop in the refrigerator.


Calories: 633kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 50gFat: 40gSugar: 10g
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