Football season is here once again. Seriously how does this happen so quickly? Every year the seasons go by faster, and it feels like we can never catch up. Fortunately for all of us, we can sooth our souls and ease the transition by enjoying comfort foods. And not just comfort foods, but dishes that are perfect for parties, and watching football. The Ultimate Party Food is none other than Paleo Short Rib Nachos.
The Ultimate Party Food: Paleo Short Rib Nachos
I realize Paleo Nachos seems like an oxy moron. Obviously traditional tortillas are corn, thus a grain, and are not Paleo. Truthfully, many Paleo goers indulgence on corn tortillas sometimes, as they are often the lesser of evils while dining out. But when we are making dishes at home, we don’t have to make that sacrifice. Especially when there are awesome Paleo-friendly brands that create grain-free Tortillas and chips.
We recently discovered Siete on Thrive Market, and have been hooked ever since. They look like corn chips, taste similar to corn chips, and have that desirable salty crunch. And they don’t give those of us sensitive to corn (like yours truly) a hangover-like feeling after the fact.
Clearly, we have the base of the nacho covered, and next comes the toppings. Equally as important of course. The idea for these nachos actually come from a recent business trip I took to Austin.
A hell of a food city Austin is. If you have never been, I highly encourage it. There is such variety throughout town, and no two places are the same. Hundreds of unique restaurants pepper the city, so you would be hard pressed to throw a rock and not hit a gem.
My first meal in town happened to be at the JW Marriott Austin, at their main restaurant. An upscale gastropub with a cool laid back atmosphere serving some killer dishes. Their chef has heart and a seriously good palate. He highly recommended the nachos, and we weren’t about to turn down the suggestion.
I am not over exaggerating when I say there wasn’t a crumb left after every person at the table cleaned the platter. It had everything one could want from a shareable appetizer. Salt and crunch from the chips, a silky richness from the pulled short rib, a creamy cheese sauce, spice, tart and brine from pickled onion, and a hint of freshness from chopped herbs. Literally mouth-watering.
Ever since this experience, I have been dreaming of said nachos and wondering how I can both recreate them at home, and make them healthier. Healthy but still feel indulgent. Indulgent without giving us a belly ache later.
So tell us friends, and we think you’ll agree, this is the perfect kind of healthy. If you are one of the fortunate ones who can tolerate dairy and/or corn, feel free to use a dairy cheese sauce and traditional chips. Either way, you cannot go wrong.
This dish does have multiple components, but you can easily split up preparing the items over a few days, or even a week. The pickled onions keep for weeks, so you can make them the week prior. The cheese sauce will last about a week in the refrigerator or also freezes well. The short ribs can be cooked a couple of days in advance, so this leaves little to be done the day of.
Thus, there is nothing to lose, and everyone to impress, with these secretly healthy nachos. A dish that is fun to surprise your guests with, especially after they have devoured the entire tray. Hey, you guys, did you know those nachos were Paleo? Get ready to enjoy those reactions.
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Looking for more party food? See our Buffalo Cauliflower Bites along with a Football Food Recipe Roundup.
- 2 bags Siete grain-free tortilla chips (we use 1 each of Sea Salt and Lime)
- 1-2 cups shredded short ribs (recipe follows)
- 1 cup Paleo Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)
- ⅓ cup Quick Pickled Onions (recipe follows)
- ⅓ cup pickled Jalapeños or Peperoncinos
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 3-4 pounds bone-in short ribs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup beef bone broth or stock
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, halved and sliced into thin half moons (optional)
- 1 cup reserved cooking liquid
- 2 cups raw cashews
- Enough water to cover the cashews
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 cups water
- Season short ribs with salt and pepper and let rest while you prep other ingredients.
- Add all other ingredients to a slow cooker, then nestle short ribs into cooking liquid. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, then turn short ribs over and cook another 3-4 hours until meat is tender and falling off the bone.
- Remove from pot, and set on a plate until cool enough to handle. Reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid. If preparing meat in advance, cover ribs and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Then proceed to the next step the following day.
- Shred meat, removing and discarding fat as you go.
- Mix with ⅓ cup of reserved cooking liquid, or more as needed, to keep meat moist. Cover and keep warm, or reheat before using.
- Add cashews to a large measuring cup or bowl, and cover with water. Let soak 2-4 hours at room temperature.
- Drain cashews and rinse with fresh water.
- Add cashews, all other ingredients, and 2 cups water to food processor. Blend until homogenous and very creamy. Add more water as needed until the sauce easily drips off a spoon. Transfer to a mason jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cut onion in half, then slice into thin half moons.
- Add vinegar, honey, salt, and water to a large mason jar. Cover and shake to combine. Add onions and stir to combine again.
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for one hour. Onions will keep several weeks in the refridgerator.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread chips onto a large rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes until chips are warm to the touch.
- Add cheese sauce to a small sauce pan and gently warm over medium-low heat. It should be warm but not scalding hot.
- Reheat short ribs if they aren't still warm.
- Evenly spread short rib on top of chips, then drizzle cheese throughout. Garnish with pickled onions, peppers, and chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
**If you tolerate grains and prefer corn chips, feel free to use these instead.
Paleo Cheese Sauce adapted from Pinch of Yum 5 Minute Cashew Sauce
Quick Pickled Sweet Onions adapted from Epicurious Quick Pickled Onions
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