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Curried Short Rib Quesadilla with Spicy Pickles

Curried Short Rib Quesadilla with Spicy Pickles

By Jason Fullilove

To say Los-Angeles-based chef Jason Fullilove embraces many cuisines in his cooking is putting it mildly as exemplified by this dish: Corn tortillas stuffed with curry-coated smoked short ribs and cheese get topped with a kimchi-like garnish. The result is a quesadilla that explodes with flavor: tender beefy richness and gooey cheese cut with tangy, hot pickles. The coconut water in the spritz helps caramelize the ribs, but you can use just apple cider vinegar. You can also make these quesadillas using leftover meat from your favorite short rib recipe.

Prep Time

45 Min

Cook Time

7 Hrs


Signature Pellet Blend


Number of People Serving


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Units of Measurement:
Spicy Pickles
1/2 Cup gochujang
1/3 Cup fresh lime juice (from 3 limes)
1/3 Cup distilled white vinegar
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
1 Cup diced (large) Napa cabbage
1 cucumber, very thinly sliced
1 carrot, very thinly sliced
1 small red onion, cut into thin matchsticks
1 Fresno chile or similar, very thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced
Curry Short Ribs
1 3-bone beef short rib rack (about 5 lb), trimmed of fat and silverskin
2 Tablespoon curry powder
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Equal parts apple cider vinegar and coconut water for brushing or spritzing
8-inch corn tortillas, preferably blue
1 1/2 Pound grated mozzarella cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
8 Ounce cotija cheese, crumbled
Canola oil or other neutral oil as needed


  • 1

    Make the pickles: In a medium bowl, whisk the gochuchang, lime juice, vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and a few good grinds black pepper.

  • 2

    Add the cabbages, cucumber, carrot, onion, chile, and garlic, and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, tossing once or twice as it chills, for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • 3

    Cook the ribs: When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 225°F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

  • 4

    Rub the short ribs with the curry powder, salt, and pepper. Combine the vinegar and the coconut water in a spray bottle or small bowl.

  • 5

    Insert the probe horizontally into the meaty part of the rack, avoiding the bone. Place the ribs meat side up directly on the grill grate. Close the lid and cook, spraying or brushing with the vinegar-coconut water about every 40 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 160°F, about 4 hours.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C

    160 ˚F / 71 ˚C

  • 6

    Place enough parchment paper on a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet to wrap the ribs; you may need to overlap two pieces. Carefully remove the probe. Transfer the ribs to the parchment paper and wrap them tightly, then reinsert the probe.

  • 7

    Return the wrapped ribs to the grill and continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 205°F, about another 3 hours.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C

    205 ˚F / 96 ˚C

  • 8

    Carefully remove the probe. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and let rest, wrapped, for at least 10 minutes. Unwrap the ribs and slice them thinly across the grain.

  • 9

    For the quesadillas: Sprinkle a tortilla with a little of the mozzarella then top with some sliced short rib. Sprinkle with some scallion and cilantro. Distribute about 1/3 cup mozzarella and about 2 tablespoons of the cotija of the over the meat and top with the second tortilla.

  • 10

    Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat on your Traeger Induction cooktop or on the stove.

  • 11

    Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the quesadilla to the skillet. Cook, pressing down on it occasionally, until browned in spots on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until other side is browned and the cheese has melted, another 2 minutes.

  • 12

    Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board if serving right away. (Alternatively, transfer the quesadillas as you cook them to a warm oven to keep warm.) Repeat with remaining ingredients.

  • 13

    Slice quesadillas and, using a slotted spoon, top with some of the pickles. Enjoy!

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