Every Chef has their go to dishes and I would say I’m no different. That said, this dish is not only delicious comfort food but easy and simple to do. It’s one of those dishes that you set it and forget it until the timer goes off. Whether in a slow cooker/Crockpot or low and slow in the oven, the only thing you will need to remember is the side dishes.
If you are looking for that rich tasting comfort food for the family, you should make it this week and feed a family of 3-4 for under $30 and yes we are talking restaurant quality.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 – large pack of beef short ribs with 3-4 large short ribs
- 2-TBS tomato paste
- 1 – Med vadalia onion (chunked)
- 2-3 med carrots rough chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery rough chopped
- sache of thyme
- 1-head of garlic
- 2-Cups good red wine (drink the rest for dinner)
- 3-4 Cups good low sodium beef stock (I prefer organic)
- 2-bay leaves
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Mise en Place (everything in it’s place)
Make sure you chop your veg and get everything ready before you start the cooking process. This makes life easier and you will be able to pay attention to the steps when everything is prepped ahead of time.
If using a slow cooker/Crockpot use one large enough so the meat will be on top of all the veg and the liquid will come almost to the top. This will allow the meat to braise properly (refer to pics below). depending on how long you want it to cook set the cooker to proper setting (low 7hrs or high 4-5 hrs)
In a large sturdy pan 10″-12″ preferably, season the ribs with salt and pepper thoroughly (if you want a little heat you can use some Cajun or cayenne pepper on the meat in this step too).
Heat pan to med – med/high heat. Add 2 TBS of oil to pan and brown meat on all sides. I used bacon fat to brown mine. Do in batches if you don’t have a big enough pan and set aside.
Pour out excess fat and add 2 more TBS of oil or bacon fat and add the carrots, onion and celery and season with salt and pepper again. (HINT: season in layers or each step lightly) Brown the veg nicely, this adds nice deep flavor to the dish
Once Veg is browned add the tomato paste and let it coat all the veg and cook while stirring for a couple minutes until everything is coated nicely. 3-4 minutes
Next deglaze the pot/pan with the red wine and let cook for 3-4 minutes and the liquid will thicken up and season lightly with salt and pepper again.
Next add the beef stock and stir to mix well. At this point if using a slow cooker, pour mixture into the slow cooker. The add the meat back into the sauce. Add the cut head of garlic add to the pot. Don’t worry about the paper on the garlic, you will strain the sauce before reducing. Tie some kitchen string around the thyme and add to the pot also and bring to a simmer.
Set the timer on the slow cooker 4-5hrs on high or 6-7 on low. If using a heavy ceramic pot like this one, put the lid on and place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Once finished, strain a few cups of the liquid through a mesh strainer and place in a small sauce pot and turn on med/high and bring to a strong simmer but not rapid boil. Reduce until the mixture is thick like a sauce and can coat the back of a spoon. (HINT: before reducing let stand about 5 minutes off heat and strain off the fat) This will make your finishing sauce when you plate. You could also use a TBS of butter after the sauce is reduced to add a nice silky texture but I did not do to my wife not being able to handle dairy and it cuts a few more calories out but it will still be just as delicious without.
To Plate: I made Parmesan polenta and balsamic French beans for the plating and for the Mrs. Maple sweet potato mash with the French Beans. You can garnish with some cut green onion (pictured) or chopped parsley. Serve with a glass of the wine you used in the recipe! Enjoy!!!