Saturday, October 22, 2011

Braised Short Ribs with Gravy

There is nothing more delicious in this world than a great cut of beef that has been slowly braised for 8 to 10 hours in a slow cooker. And there is no greater marriage in the culinary world than that between short ribs and the slow cooker. This cut of beef is full of collagen, that scrumptious connective tissue that melts away in a slow cooker and yields the most incredible, tender morsels to ever cavort across your tongue.

The beauty of a slow cooker is that it is incredibly easy to can't screw anything up. Everyone becomes an expert chef when you use one. A six year-old who can read and follow a recipe will turn out the exact same dish as Mario Batali. Slow cookers are the great special skills required.

If you don't own a slow cooker, shame on you. I would never be without one. I've had mine for 27 years and, if I keep exercising and eating well, it will serve me another 27 years. There are lots of them on the market and they are priced all over the map. If you don't own one, you can get one for under $20...and it will cook just as well as the $300 model. Here...check this out for just $16.84: Or jump in your car and head to Target...they sell a whole range of slow cookers starting at around $14.00.

There are several ways to buy your short ribs. One cut is called flanken. These are bone-in (cut across the bone) and slightly more fatty. Flanken short ribs are delicious but a little harder to find. If you are a Costco shopper, they sell boneless short ribs in the meat department for the bargain price of $3.79 a pound...that's cheaper than supermarket hamburger!

There's only 10-15 minutes of prep time with this recipe. Then toss everything into the slow cooker and 8-10 hours later your gourmet meal is all set to go. This recipe is from Rival, which is the company that made my Crock-Pot®. It serves 6-8 depending on which type of rib is used (boneless ribs serve more, flanken ribs less). I typically serve this meal with mashed potatoes or buttered farro:

6 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup flour plus 1/2 cup for gravy
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium onions, sliced
1/2 cups beef broth (Rachel Ray recommended)
4 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Put sliced onions in slow cooker.
  2. Combine 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper. Mix well. Roll short ribs in this seasoned flour mix.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown short ribs..
  4. Place browned short ribs and beef broth in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  5. When ribs are done cooking, remove and tent with foil. Pour liquid from slow cooker into a large pot. Add 1/2 cup of flour and melted butter to pot. Stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil (when it comes to a boil the gravy is ready to serve).
  6. Place short ribs on serving plates and top each serving with gravy.
Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah or Merlot

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