Slow-Cooked Beef in Red Sauce
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Recipe courtesy of Sabroso Mexican Grill

Slow-Cooked Beef in Red Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 servings



  1. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Toast the guajillo chiles, california chiles, and chiles de arbol on the grill until they are charred in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then remove the stems and seeds and cut them in half. Put aside 6 guajillo halves. Soak the rest of the chiles in water, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the coriander, cumin, oregano, peppercorns, allspice, ginger, cloves, bay leaves, garlic and onion to a blender, and add enough of the soaked chiles to come about halfway up the blender cup. Add 1/2 cup of the chile soaking liquid and 1 cup water and process until very well blended and runny. Transfer to a large bowl. Blend the remaining soaked chiles with more water as needed.
  3. Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the blended chile sauce and cook until it begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil in a large pot.
  5. Meanwhile, sprinkle the beef shanks on both sides with a pinch of salt. Heat the remaining 1/2 cup oil in a large, heavy skillet over very-high heat, then sear the beef shanks until a golden crust is formed, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the seared shanks to the pot of boiling water, then add the sauce and reserved 6 chile halves. Add the remaining 1/2 cup kosher salt to the mixture and boil over medium heat, uncovered, until the sauce reduces, 20 to 30 minutes. Cover and simmer over low heat until the meat is fork-tender, about 1 hour. Taste the sauce and add salt as needed.