|Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs|
Let your slow cooker do the work infusing these juicy braised beef short ribs with a tangy, yet sweet flavor.
For years, I have been trying to duplicate a short rib dish my late husband once ordered in a restaurant. I was reluctant to order the same thing because I am not a huge fan of anything cooked in a tomato-type base. However, when I tasted what he got, I was sorry I didn’t order it.
|Slow cooking infuses flavor|
I’d seen recipes for years that looked something like what the restaurant made, but all of these involved at least 4 hours running the oven. I’m cheap. Bottled gas costs an arm and a leg. Needless to say I put making these on the back burner.
That restaurant dish came to mind when I was picking through the reduced short ribs. Since I dusted off my crock pots, I figured it may be possible to try to duplicate that recipe again–with some alterations for the effects of slow cooking (namely a watery sauce).
The very first thing I do with any slow-cooked meat is brown it well and deglaze the pan. This results in a much better flavor in the final result. I suggest you don’t skip this step. For that matter, if you can keep an eye on it, then this probably could be cooked entirely on the stove top in a dutch oven. Either way, it will taste fine. I just find the slow cooker infuses flavor better.
|Juicy ribs with a tangy, yet sweet sauce|
Since these ribs are pretty fatty, what I do here is make them the day before, much like my Classic Pot Roast, and let the fat congeal then just easily lift it off the juice and throw it away. I always chill the gravy/juice in a separate container to the meat–makes fat removal easier with a flat surface!
I prefer a more concentrated flavor, so after removing the fat, I generally reduce the pan juices. This makes these ribs taste so much better. It’s not a necessary step, and you don’t have to do it, but the pan juices will be more watery and not have the more intense flavor.
- 4 lbs (about 8 ribs) beef short ribs
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 beef stock cubes -or- 1 tub Knorr concentrated beef stock
- ½ cup water
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 lb peeled baby carrots
- 1 small bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme (or 3 sprigs fresh)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Season ribs with salt & pepper to taste.
- Brown short ribs on all sides. Place browned short ribs in a 6-7 quart slow cooker.
- In the same pan you browned the ribs in, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and saute over medium-low heat until onion is slightly tender (about 3-5 minutes). Deglaze the pan with the ½ cup water. Add the stock cubes (or tub of concentrated stock), the entire can of diced tomatoes (including liquid), the bay leaf, carrots and the thyme. Mix well.
- Pour over ribs in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HI 4-6 hours, LOW 8-10 hours. Cooking times are a guide only as slow cookers do cook at different rates. Check at minimum times for each setting for doneness.
- Remove ribs to serving platter, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven (approx 200 degrees F).
- Remove as much fat from the pan juices as possible (for what I do, see narrative above).
- Transfer pan juices to a large skillet and reduce sauce to ½ over medium-high heat. This will take about 5 minutes. This step may be eliminated if you want a less-intense flavor to the sauce.
- Pour sauce over ribs on serving platter. Serve with rice or over mashed potatoes.
|Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs|
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