This is recipe is one that is definitely inspired south of the border.  I had a coworker who is from Honduras and her mother, who lives there, sent me a jar of anchiote. Now you can find anchiote in any Latin market and it is what is used in making the color ,yellow, in cheddar cheese.  It doesn't have an overwhelming flavor unless you use an extreme amount.  Now the jar that was sent me wasn't the normal seed like anchiote you find in the store.  It was a smooth bright red purée.  The purée was made by cooking the seeds in water for a long time until the seeds thickened the water to make a smooth paste. 

We have hoja de Santa growing every year in the spring and summer months.  It is a great herb that is great for wrapping things in because the size of the leaf.  For this recipe I cooked the short ribs in the pressure cooker with the anchiote and then wrapped the short rib in the hoja de Santa to finish the dish. Here is the recipe. 

3lb short rib
1 onion
4 tomatoes
2 tbsp anchiote paste
6 garlic cloves chopped
3 red jalapeños
1 tbsp of ground cumin
2 dried anchos chiles
4 dried New Mexico chiles
1 cup of white wine vinegar
6 cups of chicken stock

1 tbsp of grapeseed oil

10 leaves hoja de Santa blanched

1 head of green cabbage shredded fine
1/2 tomatillo salsa

1 jicama julienned

1/4 cup of mayo

For the Slaw,

In a bowl add jicama, tomatillo salsa, mayo, and green cabbage.  Season with salt and mix well.  Set aside for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mend together. 

For the short ribs,

I cooked mine in a pressure cooker but you can do the same steps with out one and simply braise in a pot.  Season short ribs with salt and pepper.  Place your pot on the stove over a medium high heat with 1 tbsp of oil.  Sear the short ribs on each side for 3 minutes, you might need to do this in batches if your pot isn't big enough.  Then add onions, fresh and dried chiles, garlic, and cumin.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add achiote, vinegar, and tomatoes.  Cook for 1 minute and then add your chicken stock.  Place the lid on the pressure cooker and bring almost to full pressure.  Cook for 45 minutes and then let the steam release naturally if you have time.  ( If braising in a pot, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours until tender).  Then take the short ribs out of the liquid, remove the bone along with any excess fat and set aside to cool to room temperature.  Place all of the liquid into a blender and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.

Once the short rib has cooled to temperature you can handle, wrap each short rib in hoja de santa leaf.  Continue with same process until all have been wrapped.  To finish the dish simple place the short rib in the oven or on the stove to warm through, then add a spoonful of the sauce down on the plate.  Cut the short rib in half and then place on top of the sauce.  Place a spoonful of the slaw behind the short ribs and garnish with a few cilantro leaves.  Serve and enjoy!


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