Pomegranate Short Rib Tacos


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. Ho 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
6 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: corn tortillas, ginger, jalapeno, lime, mint, onion, pati's mexican table, pomegranate, pork, red wine, rosemary, short ribs, tacos
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
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.


  • 2 pounds country-style boneless pork 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.

50 comments on “Pomegranate Short Rib Tacos

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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❤️

  6. 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?

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. 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. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. 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.

  13. 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. 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!

  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.

  15. 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!