Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

I know, I know. Why so many slow cooker posts lately? In the early summer? That thing is for cooking hearty cold weather meals! Well, why not use it year-round? You use the grill for warm weather cooking not only because it's fun and tasty, but to avoid heating up the oven and thus the kitchen, yeah? Well, a crockpot...uh, I mean, slow cooker... can assist in the same manner. Like my hero always says, all you have to do is 'set it and forget it'.

The real reason for slow cooker short ribs on the first day of summer? Because they were on sale.

Do you see lots of slow cooker recipes that you steer away from cause they call for 7 or 8 hr of cooking on low, yet you usually need more like 9 hrs? Stupid ass traffic or the man won't let you out early? Get out that timer you use for the Christmas lights, (or your own personal favorite religious holiday) and you can gain some time on both ends. First, if you start with cold protein, that is stuff you don't have to put a sear/browning on all sides to develop flavor before the long cook, you can let that sit out for a half hour before the timer kicks on the heat, with no concerns. On the back end, the slow cooker can shut off a half hour or so before you get home. The residual heat will be plenty to keep the temps in a safe zone. Most slow cooker recipes are pretty forgiving as well, unless you run out of liquid it's hard to really burn or overcook if you go an extra hour.

This dish combines the flavors of red wine and tomato, I believe that has been successful in at least one country shaped like footwear for many years.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs
4 servings

1.5 lbs (4) beef short ribs
1/2 ts onion powder
1/2 ts garlic powder
1 ts kosher salt
1/2 ts freshly cracked black pepper
1 ts hot smoked paprika
2 C dry red wine
2 medium onions, peeled and quarted
1 large russet potato, 1/2" slices
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
handful cremini or button mushroom, stemmed, only very large ones halved
2 carrots, 3/4" chunks
2 TB tomato paste
1 TB Worcestershire
1 TB Dijon mustard

Mix together the pepper, salt, onion and garlic powder, and the paprika. Rub into the ribs on all sides, stash in the fridge for 8 hr or overnight.

8 hrs before you'd like to eat, add to the cooker the rest of the ingredients, minus the ribs. Nestle the short ribs in last, meat side up. Set for 8 hr on low, or until falling off the bone tender. Remove meat and other large stuff with a slotted spoon, let any fat rise to the surface, remove with a spoon. Add everything back together, warm through if necessary, and serve over your choice of starch- white or brown rice, egg noodles, some other pasta, etc.

Slow cooker meals aren't the friendliest to the camera- but you can see the meat sliding off the bone- just stare at it for a second, that's all the persuasion it takes.

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