Did you ever wake up in the morning immediately craving a certain food? Well, this is a pretty regular occurrence in my life.
A few Sundays ago, within minutes of opening my eyes, I was thinking about short ribs. Thick, savory, slow-cooked short ribs with meat so tender it easily falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. I had yet to have a sip of coffee or consider breakfast (or even emerge from under the covers, for that matter), but I was already anxiously anticipating dinner.
I’ve tried a number a good recipes for slow cooked short ribs, but I’ve never found one that was truly great. You know, that one recipe that becomes your go-to, the one you happily share with anyone who asks, and the one you ultimately make so many times you come to know it by heart. I flipped through a stack of cookbooks, hoping to find that one recipe, but nothing jumped out at me. So, I turned my search to my favorite food blogs…surely, in the middle of winter, I could count on my fellow bloggers to share the eye catching short rib recipe I was looking for.
Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for in this perfect slow cooker short rib recipe I held on a pedestal (although still had yet to find), but I was sure I’d know it when I saw it. Finally, as I scanned a recently published recipe from Eat, Live, Run, I knew it had all the elements I was looking for. And, I knew if my short ribs tasted anything like Jenna’s enticing photos, I was bound to have an amazing dinner in my future.
These short ribs were the epitome of what I envisioned when I woke that morning! Succulent chunks of tender meat perfectly lacquered with rich sauce, that effortlessly fell off the bone and practically melted in my mouth. As much as I was in love with the meat, I was possibly even more enamored with the sauce! It was hearty, rich and luxurious, and I never wanted it to end. While this recipes makes an ideal amount of sauce to accompany the short ribs, I will likely modify the recipe next time to have a bit extra.
Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs
(Slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run)
3 ½ lbs beef chuck short ribs
2 whole shallots, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon thyme
fresh ground pepper
Pat short ribs dry with a paper towel. Season each piece of meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. When hot, add the short ribs and brown, cooking about 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan, work in batches, if necessary.
After the ribs have browned, remove from carefully and set them at the bottom of your slow cooker. Take the pan off the heat briefly to cool down, then return to medium heat and add the shallots and celery. Saute for about five minutes until tender, then add the tomato paste. Mash the tomato paste into the veggies using a rubber spatula and continue to sauté on medium heat for another four minutes.
Pour the wine and the beef broth into the skillet and stir. Whisk in the flour, making sure to break up any clumps. Add bay leaves, thyme and season with salt & pepper.
Bring sauce to a boil, then to a simmer. Pour sauce right over ribs in the slow cooker. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on HIGH for seven to eight hours or on LOW for 11-12 hours. When done, the meat should literally be falling off the bone. Taste and season with additional salt & pepper, if necessary.
I recommend serving these slow cooker short ribs over a bowl of creamy polenta, parmesan risotto or fresh egg noodles.