Tonight’s dinner is all about short ribs. Short ribs are all about the meat and the sauce, and this recipe gives a great deep flavor for both and most of the work is done in the slow cooker.
Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs
5 pounds bone-in shirt ribs, meat and bones separated
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions,chopped medium
1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium
1 celery rib, chopped medium
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Separate the meat from the bones by inserting a knife between the rib and meat, staying as close to the bone as possible. Saw the meat off the bone and set aside. Arrange the beef bones in a dish and microwave (in batches, if your microwave is small) until well browned, 10 to 15 minutes; transfer the bones to the slow cooker.
Dry the short ribs meat with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the short ribs well on all sides, 7 to minutes; transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining tablespoon of oil and the remaining short ribs; when done, transfer them to the slow cooker.
Add the onions, carrot, celery, tomato paste and thyme to the fat in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the wine and the vinegar, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes; transfer to the slow cooker.
Stir the broth and the bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high. Transfer the short ribs to a serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let the braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove the fat from the surface using a large spoon. Strain the braising liquid, discarding the solids, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over the short ribs and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Microwaving the bones before cooking may seem a little odd, but it actually does two things for you: first, it renders out a lot of unwanted fat (short ribs can be very greasy) and second, it gives the bones a roasted flavor which in turn deepens the sauce during the long cooking time. It’s a little work at first with the microwave and the skillet, but I think you’ll be happy with the results if you put the work into it.
I am serving the short ribs with mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes go perfectly with this meal and placing a couple of the ribs with the sauce directly over the mashed potatoes is delicious. I have posted my recipe for mashed potatoes before, so if you would like to check it out, feel free to click here to get it. I am also keeping the vegetable simple with just some steamed broccoli to round out the meal.
That’s all there is to this dinner. Mondays seem to cry out for a nice, slow cooker meal. So many of us are ready to crash by the time the day ends on Monday, so it would be nice to come home to meal that is just about done. You can even peel the potatoes ahead of time and just leave them in a pot of water on the stove so you can just turn it on and go when you get home.
Tomorrow night’s meal is a simple Spaghetti and Meatballs, which I have made before. I may do a slight variation on it this time, so check back and see how the recipe looks. I’ll also be writing about a couple of items I am looking to purchase to make cooking a little easier and fun, so check back and see those as well. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or recipes you may be looking for, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather today. Spring is right around the corner, and I’ll be cleaning up the grill soon so we can start using that for cooking too! Enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!