The inspiration for this recipe came about as I was wandering through Whole Foods. It was Friday afternoon, just as the snow from our latest storm was starting to fall, and I was making one last trip to the market before I got snowed in.
Yeah, THAT storm. Here's a picture of my dogs on Saturday morning, as they woke up to more snow than they have ever seen before. We dug tunnels across the deck and through the yard so they could get around.
Gus was having a good gosh-darn time for himself. He stuck to the pathways. Clyde, not so much. He started to leap through uncharted territories........
...and ended up "swimming" through the snow.
He was happy to come back in, dry off and warm up.
We were snowed in for a couple of days, which was not a problem at all since I had bought enough food for a week's worth of snowed-in meals. First on the list were the boneless beef ribs in today's post--boy did my house smell good with these ribs simmering in the slow cooker while the snow was falling!
- "Come On-A My House"........Rosemary Clooney
- "Almost Like Being In Love"......Frank Sinatra
- "Do You Love Me".......The Contours
- "A Teenager In Love"........Dion and the Belmonts
- "Hakuna Matata"........Lion King Soundtrack
- "American Pie".......Don McLean
- "Twistin' The Night Away".......Sam Cooke
- "Brown Eyed Girl"........Van Morrison
Crock Pot Boneless Beef Short Ribs (4 servings)
- 2 to 2 1/2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch, to thicken the sauce after cooking
Gather your ingredients. You will notice there is no red wine in this picture; it was not being camera shy, I hadn't yet realized that I was going to use red wine. Stay tuned, you'll see.
Remove any large chunks of fat from the ribs. Don't get too neurotic about it, just remove all the fat along the sides and you'll be good to go.
These ribs were about 7 inches long, so I cut them in half, as seen in this picture.
Put the flour, salt and pepper into a zip-lock bag.
Add the ribs into the bag.
Zip the bag and toss it around so that the ribs are coated with the flour mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Brown the ribs in the oil.
Flip them after a minute or two and brown the other side.
While the ribs are browning in the skillet, chop your onion.
Remove the ribs from the skillet and put them on a plate. Or you could put them right into your slow cooker. I like to put the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and stir them up before I add the ribs, but if you put the ribs directly into the crock pot you'll save yourself from having to wash that extra plate. Your choice.
Here is where I decided that I needed to add red wine into this recipe. After I removed the ribs from the skillet, there was just too much good stuff stuck to the pan to leave behind.
I have a problem, I know. But I have to confess, the secret to my cooking is that I know that lots of flavor gets stuck to the pan and if I can only unstick it, the meal will taste much better.
Wine does a great job deglazing the pan. It looks like I have a cooking emergency going on in this picture, but that's just the steam coming off the hot pan as the wine unsticks the brown bits. Stir it around until all the bits are loosened.
Pour the wine from the pan into your crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients. The chopped onions....
Crush the garlic directly into the crock pot.
Add the beef broth,
the red wine vinegar,
the brown sugar,
and the chili powder. Stir it up.
Lastly, if you didn't transfer your ribs directly from the skillet to your crock pot, add the ribs and any juice that may have collected on the plate.
Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.
When it's finished, remove the ribs from the crock pot.
You'll want to thicken the remaining sauce, so put it into a sauce pan.
IF you had removed all the large chunks of fat from the ribs, there won't be much fat in the remaining cooking liquid. I put the liquid in my gravy separator just in case, but as you can see there's hardly any fat sitting on the top. It's not even worth the trouble of trying to remove it, so just pour it right into a small saucepan.
However, if you did not trim the excess fat before you cooked your ribs, you might have a pan full of fat, in which case you will need to remove the fat before you thicken the sauce.
Stir 2 tablespoons of corn starch into 2 tablespoons of water and then whisk it into the sauce. Heat on high until it the sauce starts to boil and thicken. Pour the sauce over the ribs.