Queso Fundido is a ubiquitous Tex-Mex staple that combines spicy meat with creamy cheese dip and chiles. Chorizo is typically the meat of choice, but I’ve gone with beef short ribs here, which are more meaty than spicy and lend a decidedly barbecue tone to the proceedings. And since they cook very nicely in a slow cooker anyway, this dip’s a natural.
*No aspect of this dish can be considered heart-healthy. It may even be illegal in the state of California.
Slow Cooker Short Rib Queso
For the short ribs
- 2 pounds beef short ribs – flanken style (cut into 1 bone sections)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
For the queso
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated (see note regarding cheese))
- 4 ounces pepper jack cheese (grated)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 8 ounces whole milk
- 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos (finely chopped)
- Season the short ribs with the salt.
- Drain adobo sauce from the can of peppers into a 2-3 quart slow cooker; Add one of the chipotle peppers from the can (freeze the rest to use later) along with the garlic and herbs. Add the ribs and toss around the crock to coat.
- Cover and cook the ribs on high for 4 to 6 hours, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Cool for about an hour, then chop the meat, discarding the bones. This can be done up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Combine the cheeses, cream cheese and milk in slow cooker. Heat on low, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until creamy. Stir in the chopped rib meat and pickled jalapenos and keep warm over low heat.
- Serve with tortilla chips, celery, carrots, peppers, jicama, bread, pita, fries and/ or potato chips. Or, just attack it with a big spoon…I wont judge.
Whatever you do, don’t buy pre-shredded cheese for this application — you’ll end up with a grainy chalky dip.
When we made this recipe, we only got about 1/4 cup of liquid (which is mostly fat) from the ribs, so we incorporated it into the recipe. If your ribs are particularly fatty, I wouldn’t add all of it, otherwise the dip may be greasy or grainy.