Short Rib Tacos w/ Orange BBQ Sauce and Spicy Orange Cucumber Salsa

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The Inland Empire brought out the big guns last weekend, Riverside, California specifically. Inland Empire Brewing Company(IEBC) put on a Fourth Anniversary Celebration that was reminiscent of Riverside’s famous Orange Blossom Festival. As one who considers herself a Riversidian, I was disappointed to find that in 2007, the Orange Blossom Festival had been cut by the city in favor of the bigger “Festival of Lights“. Now that we have an awesome beer festival taking its place, I have absolutely nothing to complain about! It’s much better than the Orange Blossom Festival, having more of the things that I like (beer & food), and less of the things that I’m indifferent about (sub-par vendors & cutesy entertainment).

Short Rib Tacos w/ Orange BBQ Sauce and Spicy Orange Cucumber Salsa, Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

In honor of the event, and supporting the local, small business owners of the city that I love so much, I decided I would create a recipe specifically for one of the brewery’s stronger beers, the Victoria Strong Ale. This beer comes in at a whopping 11% ABV, and is reminiscent of what put Riverside on the map – Oranges. It captures the orange perfectly – with not only it’s sweetness from the honey, but the bitterness of the orange zest added to the boil. It is a syrupy and malty beer that is well carbonated, and enhances the beef and BBQ sauce perfectly in this recipe.

Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

The Victoria Strong Ale is an American Strong Ale, and was named for the historic street where the brewery purchased the oranges used in this beer.

Interesting Facts: The construction of Victoria Avenue began in the spring of 1892, and was responsible for connecting the downtown Merchants, the Mission Inn, and Mt. Rubidoux to Arlington Heights and the citrus growers. The Riverside history books also claim that this was the first use of the Palm tree as a street tree, which is responsible for the iconic Palm-lined Southern California skyline. I did not know that! Pretty cool, eh?

Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

Now on to the fun! We got to the festival early, because as with any type of festival like this that has food trucks, the earlier you get there, the better, because the lines get LONG! First up was the Bacon Mania Food Truck, and their Piggy Back Sliders. Slow-cooked pulled pork and hickory smoked bacon with bacon BBQ sauce and tangy Carolina-style slaw. Flavorful and delicious!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Bacon Mania Food TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Bacon Mania Food Truck, Piggy Back Sliders, slow-cooked pulled pork, Hickory Smoked Bacon with Bacon BBQ Sauce and Tangy Carolina Style Slaw

Next up, the The Grilled Cheese Truck, and all the awesomeness that is the Double Cream Brie! Soft brie, fresh thyme, crisp apple slices, toasted almonds, and wildflower honey. Creamy, crispy, crunchy and sweet. Love on toast, I say!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Grilled Cheese TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Double Cream Brie, fresh Thyme, Apple slices, Toasted Almonds, Wildflower Honey.

There were over 40 breweries there, providing their best offerings. I had many beers that day, so I’m not even going to try to tell you all I had. They were all spectacular!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

Since we were at a beer festival, I couldn’t pass up the Guinness Battered Alaskan Cod Tacos at The Slummin’ Gourmet. As you can see by the picture, the two tacos were pretty loaded with cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, microgreens, and a lovely chipotle crema. Messy(in a good way), and so flavorful! The fish was tender, contrasting well with the crispy beer batter.
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Slummin' Gourmet, Food TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Slummin' Gourmet, Food Truck, Guinness Battered Alaskan Cod TacosInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

Cheers to full glasses and great friends!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

Here’s Marcus(left) from Kat Daddy Nano-Brewery, the only brewery in Moreno Valley, CA. Hopefully he will pioneer the movement in our cozy little city!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

I was going to share these perfectly cooked French Fries with Herbed Feta cheese sauce, but then I came to my senses. Mine! All MINE!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Garlicscapes Food TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Garlicscapes Food Truck, Fries with Herbed Feta Cheese SauceInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Garlicscapes Food Truck, Fries with Herbed Feta Cheese Sauce

Here is the brewer behind Donkey Punch Brewing, another Inland Empire Brewery located in Redlands, CA.
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

After the savory offerings from the other food trucks, it was all about the sweet Ice Cream Waffle Special. An original Liege Waffle with a single scoop of ice cream, and chocolate and caramel syrup. It was definitely very sweet, almost too sweet for my liking, but the hot waffle with the cold ice cream will always be a great combination! The waffle was perfectly cooked!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Waffles De Liege Food TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, Waffles De Liege Food Truck, Ice Cream Waffle Special - Original Liege Waffle with a Single Scoop of Ice Cream, and Chocolate and Caramel Syrup

Here’s the Kat Daddy crew!
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

Ok, so we’re definitely full of beer and food at this point, but it didn’t stop there. My friend had saved himself all day to partake in the awesomeness that is The Viking Truck. Being of Swedish Viking descent, this truck was calling my name, full belly or not. I stood in what seemed an hour long line for this puppy, and was so glad I did! The sausage was monstrous and topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, red cabbage, briny sauerkraut, smoked paprika aioli, and spicy deli mustard. A meal fit for a Viking! You can tell I’m of Viking descent, eh? How ya like them horns?
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Viking TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Viking TruckInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA, The Viking Truck, The Broadsword - A giant 1/2 pound Hungarian Sausage with Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, Smoked Paprika Aioli, and Deli Mustard.
Arrrrrr!

Now that the event is out of the way, we can talk about these puppies. Made with the Inland Empire Brewing Company’s Victoria American Strong Ale, they will knock your socks off. The orange flavor gets all up IN YO FACE! The BBQ is spicy and sweet, and the beer flavor comes through nicely. The fresh salsa is a refreshing, light contrast to the rich sauce. I’m a fan of sauce, so an extra drizzle on top is a must, along with a fresh squeeze of lime. If you plan your preparation right, it really isn’t too much work, so don’t be intimidated! You will be rewarded with a fantastic meal that screams Riverside.
Inland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CAInland Empire Brewing Company Fourth Anniversary, Riverside, CA

Spicy, Orange lovin’,

Many, many thanks to the Inland Empire Brewing Company crew for allowing us VIP access to the event! We had a total blast. I hope you enjoyed them tacos!

*Disclaimer* I was granted VIP access to the event by IEBC, however I did buy the Victoria Strong Ale used in the recipe with our own growler. I was not compensated in any other way.

Short Rib Tacos w/ Orange BBQ Sauce and Spicy Orange Cucumber Salsa
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Fusion
These tacos symbolize not only supporting your local breweries (in this case, Inland Empire Brewing Compnay), but the sweet city of Riverside, and the crop that put us on the map - Oranges! Enjoy!
Ingredients
For The Braise:
  • 3 Pounds Organic, Grassfed Beef Short Ribs
  • 2 Limes, Juiced
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Cups Organic Beef Stock
  • 1 Cup IEBC Victoria Strong Ale*
  • 1 Medium Sliced Onion
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Serrano Pepper, Finely Diced
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Diced Fresh Ginger
  • ¼ Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • Juice of 1 Orange
Orange BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1 Cup IEBC Victoria Strong Ale*
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Diced Fresh Ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Molasses
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Zest
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Squeezed Organic Orange Juice (about 1 orange)
For the Salsa:
  • 1 ½ Cups Peeled, Diced Organic Cucumber
  • 1 Cup Diced Fresh Organic Orange
  • ¼ Cup Finely Diced Red Onion
  • ¼ Cup Sliced Scallions
  • 1 Serrano Pepper, Finely Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon IEBC Victoria Strong Ale*
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
Instructions
For The Braise:
  1. Place the short ribs in a bowl or large freezer bag, and add lime juice and cayenne pepper. Let marinate in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  2. After the three hours, set your slow cooker to high.
  3. For the braise, combine beef stock , beer, water, onion, garlic, serrano pepper, ginger, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and orange juice and zest in a medium sized pot, and heat on high until the mixture simmers.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet on high, and add Olive Oil. Sear the meat on both sides, about two minutes per side. Work in batches, moving the seared pieces to a plate, and repeat until all pieces are seared.
  5. Add braising liquid and meat to the slow cooker, and cook for 4 hours.
  6. Remove the meat from the liquid, and pull apart with two forks.
For the BBQ sauce:
  1. Combine the beef stock and beer to a small pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes until the mixture is reduced to ½ cup.
  2. Add the reduction, and the remaining BBQ sauce ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Salsa:
  1. Combine all ingredients, mix well, cover, and refrigerate.
Build The Tacos:
  1. Add about ¾ cup of the BBQ sauce to the meat, and mix well. Reheat the meat in a pot over medium heat if necessary.
  2. Warm up some corn tortillas in a skillet lightly sprayed with olive oil, add the meat, salsa and BBQ sauce. Serve with lime wedges, extra salsa and BBQ.
Notes
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Posted in Beef, Beer, Mains, Party, Recipes, Reviews.

8 Responses to Short Rib Tacos w/ Orange BBQ Sauce and Spicy Orange Cucumber Salsa

  1. What fun! The tacos look fabulous and your ability to strike a Viking pose greatly amused me.

  2. These look to die for! And those food trucks look amazing too, yum!
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen recently posted..Mini Strawberry Pie CupsMy Profile

  3. Angel says:

    I could eat 100 of these tacos!!….again :~D

  4. Kim says:

    Hi Natalie,

    I’m a native Riversidian. :) My mom still lives close to downtown and I pass through on occasion. Your short rib tacos are beautiful. Definitely a good representation of “Riverside.”

    Cheers!

    [K]

  5. Nathan says:

    those tacos are drop dead gorgeous. wow.
    Nathan recently posted..Shady’s Lemon-Parmesan BroccoliMy Profile