Monday, June 20, 2011
I love using my slow-cooker. Especially when I find a recipe with an exceptionally long cooking time such as this one. During the week I'm away from home for about 9 1/2 hours a day, and lately I've also been doing TurboFire after work in my garage "gym" which adds another hour (I try to workout in the mornings but lately I've been lacking the motivation to get up that early). So an ideal slow-cooker recipe for me is one that can go at least 10 hours, if not more. Ding Ding Ding - we have a winner with this one! On low it goes 10-12 hours. Perfect! And it calls for two cups of wine, which uses enough of the bottle to justify finishing off the rest yourself :-)
I realize that it's now grilling season, but I made this recipe a month ago when it was still cold and wet, at least where I live, and even though I'm way behind I still really wanted to blog about it.
I really like this cookbook (it was a bridal shower gift) - it's by the makers of Crock-Pot and it features more "gourmet" recipes than other slow-cooker books I've seen. Each recipe has a full page photo. I've also made their recipe for maple whiskey glazed beef brisket which was excellent. It has a lot of breakfast/brunch type recipes that I want to try someday as well.
Italian Braised Short Ribs in Red Wine
adapted from Crock-Pot Gourmet Slow Cooking Recipes
Note: For this recipe, the package of short ribs we had in the freezer ended up only being about two pounds, instead of the three that the recipe called for. We went ahead with it anyway, still using the full amount of all the other ingredients. While we only had enough meat for about three servings, there was still plenty of delicious broth, onions and mushrooms leftover, so we added some cooked wild rice and turned it into a soup for a second meal later in the week.
3 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more if needed
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound baby bella or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Spray the inside of a 5 1/2 quart slow-cooker with cooking spray. Season the short ribs with a little salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, adding additional oil as needed. Transfer ribs to slow-cooker as they finish browning.
To the same skillet you were just using, add the onions. Cook, stirring often, for about 3-5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, mushrooms, wine, broth, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Pour this mixture over the short ribs in the slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 6-8 hours, or until beef is tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Transfer ribs, mushrooms and onions to a serving plate. Strain the remaining liquid to get a smooth sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta and drizzle the whole meal with the strained sauce.