pomegranate short ribs


Pomegranate Short Rib Tacos

This meal makes for a beast of a taco. Well, quite a few beastly tacos.

Melt in your mouth chunks of short ribs, braised in wine and pomegranate and topped with a scoop of a one of a kind guacamole, get tucked into warm corn tortillas. The guacamole has a mashed ripe avocado base seasoned with fresh ginger, jalapeño, shallots and a dash of lime juice, then tossed with salty chunks of queso fresco and sweet and juicy pomegranate seeds. You can garnish the final thing with chopped fresh mint.

This can practically be your whole meal! It makes me really happy to make it on cold winter nights, when we want something filling, satisfying, luscious, packed with flavor, and fun.

I cooked up this recipe in an attempt to use pomegranate seeds in a different way than I was used to and out of a bit of frustration. See, in Mexico, pomegranate is the crown jewel of Chiles en Nogada. The signature dish of Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations in September. If you are a Mexican and you see a pomegranate, I bet the first thing you think of is that dish, which bears all the colors of the Mexican flag. The pomegranates must be there.

Funny how things are. I love making Chiles en Nogada here in the states. Yet, pomegranate season in Mexico is July to October and here in Washington, DC, I have struggle to find pomegranates in September. In DC, pomegranate is at its peak way past September, not until very into the early winter months. So, I feel a little ridiculous making Chiles en Nogada which most absolutely, definitely, without a doubt, NEED to be made in September.

But I absolutely adore pomegranates. Everything about them. Their shape. Their hard skin. How challenging it can be to get the seeds out. How your fingers and nails remain red long after you have eaten them. Mostly, their sharp and sparkly tart and sweet flavor. Hence… I came up with this recipe to expand my pomegranate horizons during the time that I can easily find them. It turns out, I expanded my taco, my guacamole and dinner horizons as well.

Here you go, if you are a meat eater, this taco is a must. If you are not, make the guacamole and eat it with chips.

Pomegranate Short Ribs and Queso Fresco Guacamole Tacos

Tacos de Costillitas a la Granada y Guacamole con Queso Fresco

Recipe Yield

6 servings

Cooking time

2 hours 30 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.8 from 5 votes


  • 2 pounds country-style boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt divided, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons canola or safflower oil divided
  • 1 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
  • 1 tablespoon shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1 whole jalapeño or to taste, finely chopped, stemmed and seeded optional
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large ripe avocados halved, pitted, meat scooped out and diced
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco crumbled or diced, divided
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds divided
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint coarsely chopped, to garnish

To Prepare

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Season the short ribs with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof casserole over medium heat. Once hot, add the meat and cook until browned on each side, about 7 to 8 minutes per side. If necessary, do it in batches. Remove the meat from the casserole and place in a bowl.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the casserole and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until completely softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant and lightly browned. Pour in the pomegranate juice and wine, stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate all the browned bits.
  • Return the meat to the casserole, add the crushed rosemary, and let it come to a simmer. Once it does, cover the casserole with its lid and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is completely tender.
  • Remove the lid from the casserole, and leave in the oven for another 1/2 hour, or until the meat comes falls apart when pulled with a fork, and the liquid has thickened considerably. Remove from the oven. Using a couple forks, shred the meat finely into small bite size chunks and let it sit in the sauce.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shallots, ginger and jalapeño with the lime juice, olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Incorporate the avocado and gently mash with a fork until well combined. Add half of the cheese and pomegranate seeds and toss well. Reserve.
  • Heat the corn tortillas on a comal, griddle or skillet set over medium heat, until completely heated through and pliable.
  • Assemble tacos with the guacamole and the braised ribs, garnish with the remaining cheese and chopped mint.


60comments inPomegranate Short Rib Tacos

  1. Jo Ann Gilmore

    Feb 22

    Hi Pati,
    Can I refrigerate the short rib taco for a day or two before adding cheese & pom seeds?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 23

      You can go ahead and refrigerate the meat, but it is best if you assemble your tacos fresh right before eating them.

  2. Adriana Rivera

    Feb 25

    Hi Pati,

    Love your show! Quick question-has this recipe always been pork? I cooked it a couple of years ago, and for some strange reason I remember it being beef. Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Hola Adriana, the original recipe calls for pork, but it can be made with beef as well if you like it better. Enjoy it 😉

  3. Dee Loera

    Feb 05

    This recipe took tacos and guacamole to a whole new level of delicious. I used bone in beef short ribs and they were so moist and flavorful. The recipe was spot on; I added a little cayenne to my guacamole, but stayed true for everything else. Mil gracias Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      Yay Dee, thanks so much for your feedback, so glad you liked this recipe 😉

  4. Anna

    Feb 04

    Pati, is there a good substitute for red wine? We do not drink or cook with alcohol.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 10

      You can either use more pomegranate juice or a combination of juice and apple cider Anna, enjoy!

  5. Maria

    Feb 04

    Thank you!

  6. Mark Covey

    Jul 11

    Absolutely delicious. We definitely will do this recipe again. The advocado topping is the perfect topping to the taco.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 12

      Glad you enjoyed them Mark 😉

  7. Mark Orpen

    May 12

    I feel like I’m beating a dead horse to death, here. But, does it make any difference whether we use bone-in or boneless beef or pork short ribs? I ask because I recently learned there is a difference between bone-in and boneless beef short ribs. I don’t know about pork ribs. Hope I’m clear here. Thanks for your help.

    I only recently discovered you on public tv and I’m loving it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 24

      I’m so glad you found me, Mark. You can use either pork or beef boneless ribs…both will be yum.

  8. Michael J Milano

    Nov 15

    I stumbled upon your show a couple months ago & LOVE! You are not only easy on the eyes :), but love your tv presence… I am currently coming off of a 30 cleanse and can’t wait to try a few of your recipes… Caught your 6 hour marathon and looking forward to new shows to come. The Best of luck for your future & I’ll let you know how the recipes turned out! Have a great day!

    1. Pati

      Nov 16

      Enjoy all of the recipes, Michael!

  9. Gloria Reich

    Nov 04

    I made this using beef short ribs. It was sensational! About 3 pounds of raw meat cooked down to enough for 5 people with enough leftover for 2 more tacos. I’m going to use a chuck roast next time to save the work of extracting the bones. I substituted a local feta cheese for the cotija successfully. My Mexican grocer had blue corn tortillas today so we used those. Yummy! Love your show and your recipes. Thanks!

    1. Pati

      Nov 05

      Super! Thank you Gloria.

  10. Erika Leiva

    Oct 01

    Pati, my mom and I are such great fans. We usually watch your show together, if I can’t make it on time she’ll record it for me. She’s currently battling “the big C” (can’t seem to say it) and I was wondering if you can give her a quick shout out, her name is Ana Marina!! Love your cuisine!!! Take care❤️

    1. Pati

      Oct 06

      Oh please say hi to your mom for me, Erika! I’m sending Ana Marina all of my best and lots of hugs!!!

  11. Amy

    Jan 21

    I have 2 pomegranates and also pomegranate molasses. Is the juice in this recipe straight squeezed pomegranate or water added to molasses? How should I make up the 2 cups if I can’t squeeze enough out of my fruits?

    1. Pati

      Jan 24

      Oh I use pomegranate juice that I buy in the market…they are a few brands that make it.

  12. Ana

    Dec 09

    This sounds amazing . Going to make it for Christmas party soon. What other side dish could you pair this with? Love your show. You’re a great inspiration. 🙂

  13. Ann Baker

    Dec 08

    I am not allowed to post on main page for some reason. I am writing as I am very upset. Just watched Season 6, Episode 8 and Patti seems to have a black eye!!! The left one. If anyone knows anything please post on FB. Thank you, a fan.

    1. Pati

      Dec 11

      Thank you so much for your concern, Ann! I had an awful terrible cold when we were filming that episode. Thanks for your comment and concern, thankfully all is great here.

  14. Oscar

    Dec 06

    habemos personas que nos gusta mucho tu programa, habra alguna forma de poder verlo en tu idioma natal?????

    1. Pati

      Dec 22

      No…pero vamos a tener todo el sitio en español en un par de semanas 🙂

  15. Pam

    Oct 15

    Saw a marathon of your shows and you did a lasagne. Is it in your 2nd book? Can’t find it online. Thanks.

  16. Christina C.

    Oct 15

    This was such a hit, Pati!! I made it exactly as you have written but in a pressure cooker to cut down on time (for those using one, the meat was fall apart at 1hr 10min, then reduce with meat in there for 20min). Served it in tacos and also on top of a celeriac and potato puree. INCREDIBLE flavor, not overly sweet, and you can really taste the meat (the best part of course)!! Another great, easy recipe Pati. THANK YOU!

    1. Pati

      Oct 27

      Thank YOU Christina!

    2. Patricia C

      Dec 24

      Christian C., Did you add all ingredients in pressure cooker after browning meat?

  17. Susan Rivera

    Sep 19

    Oh my goodness Pati! This looks so amazing. I am trying this when my daughter comes home from college next weekend.

    1. Pati

      Sep 19


  18. John Crain

    Aug 11

    Short Ribs are beef. Spare Ribs are pork. Do you use short ribs or spare ribs? Or is it just personal preference? Thanks.
    P.S. We live in San Miguel de Allende, GTO.

    1. Pati

      Aug 14

      I used beef but you can use pork and they will be delicious too!

  19. Carol Craig

    Feb 15

    Do you think a pork roast or beef chuck roast would be good cooked like this. I’ve actually never seen pork short ribs only beef

    1. Pati

      Feb 20

      Yes, absolutely Carol!

  20. Larry

    Feb 13

    They look very good id like to try them sometime

    1. Pati

      Feb 13

      Thank you Larry…I hope you like them.

  21. Kristy

    Feb 07

    I saw these on the Today Show! They look so good!

    1. Pati

      Feb 07


  22. Robert Tenpenny

    Jan 21

    Hey Pati! I saw your segment on the Today show the other day. Loved it! I loved Matt Lauer’s response when he took a bite of the finished meat. So much so that I just gathered up the few ingredients I needed today to make it. Cannot wait!

    1. Pati

      Jan 23

      Hola Robert, So glad you caught me on Today, I was so excited to be there and to be cooking with Matt! Hope you love it as much as I do when you try it.

  23. Archie Carr III

    Jan 14

    Sounds so good. Pati, I have your book and we have excellent corn tortillas in my town (nixtamal). But, when I make chips (fried in oil per your instructions) they are disappointing. Oily, and no where near as good as Fritos!!!! What to do???

    1. Pati

      Jan 15

      What happens with fresh tortillas, is they can soak up a lot of oil. So what I recommend, is let them dry overnight. Not stacked, but spread about. Also make sure that the oil is very hot before you add the tortilla pieces. The oil should be super bubbly, and let them drain on paper towel once you take them out. Hope this helps, let me know!

  24. Kathryn Sundquist

    Jan 14

    What vegetable would you serve with them? I always have a difficult time figuring out what vegetables to serve with mexican food. My suegra doesn’t serve many vegetables with her food, but I always feel a plate is so empty without them.

    1. Pati

      Jan 14

      I hear you, Kathryn! You can serve a green salad on the side, or a green bean or chayote salad would be great too take a look http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/chayote-squash-and-pickled-onion-salad/

  25. wrknathome

    Jan 13

    Hi Pati, I want to try this recipe. However, could I substitute beef short ribs for the pork? Would it interact with the flavor profile of the pomegranate properly, etc? Thanks!

    1. Pati

      Jan 13

      You can totally swap!

      1. wrknathome

        Jan 13

        Great! Thank you for responding so quickly!

  26. Electra

    Jan 12

    Could the short ribs be made in the crock pot?

  27. Electra

    Jan 12

    Could the short ribs be made in the crock pot?

    1. Pati

      Jan 13


  28. Lyla Hoffman

    Jan 12

    Oh MY! This sounds wonderful.

  29. Lyla Hoffman

    Jan 12

    Oh MY! This sounds wonderful.

    1. Pati

      Jan 13

      They are 🙂

  30. Becky Winkler

    Jan 12

    These sound amazing! I can’t wait to try them.

  31. Becky Winkler

    Jan 12

    These sound amazing! I can’t wait to try them.

    1. Pati

      Jan 13


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.