|Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs|
It seems no one who shops in the grocery store that's in my town ever buy short ribs. On the last day of sale, there's always drastic reductions on them, so I'm always right up there stocking up!
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|
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.
Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs
- 4 lbs (about 8 ribs) beef short ribs
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 beef stock cubes -or- 1 tub Knorr concentrated beef stock
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 lb peeled baby carrots
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 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 1/2 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 1/2 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.
Serves 4 (2 ribs each)
|Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs|
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