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Well hi there. I am so excited to be starting a new series of blogs that will teach you a few of my smarty cooking secrets. This series will cover everything from dinner party ideas to healthy lunches for moms on the go. We all need a little help in the kitchen from time to time so we don’t get in the rut of Taco Tuesday/ Wednesday/Friday.
This week I made Wine and mushroom braised beef short ribs that were to die for. I used my slow cooker but the recipe can easily be adapted for the oven.
I start off by buying my short ribs at Costco. You can get either bone in or boneless. The ones from Costco are boneless and you get the most meat off of them. I am always looking for things I can cook once then freeze and use in some other recipe. Short ribs are great for this. Once cooked the meat shreds up and depending on what flavor profile you season with you can put over noodles, into tacos, lasagna or wraps. I made Asian Beef Short Ribs last year using Chinese five spice that were so different and delicious.
Please be kind and don’t make too much fun of my photos. I used my phone to take them and as good as the iPhone camera is, it is nothing compared to my Smarty friend like Anne Willette (whose photography skills I would kill for). She promised to teach me some tricks in exchange for food. I am setting that up pronto.
Here are the main ingredients you will need. You don’t need an exact recipe to become a good cook (unless you are baking). Not in the picture is the 28oz can of diced tomatoes I decided to throw in at the last minute. See, I was winging it.
You are going to need to brown the short ribs. Go ahead, season them with salt and pepper and get your pan pretty hot. A lot of flavor is hidden in the brown delicious crust that forms when meat caramelizes at high heat. Once you put the ribs in DO NOT keep moving them around the pan. Pretend they are little sleeping sextuplets. Lay those babies in the crib and walk away for a few minutes. They are ready to flip when they release from the pan on their own. If they stick, they still want to be there.
Once all the short ribs are browned, remove them from the pot onto a plate. Next go in your veggies, onions, garlic and mushrooms. I used about half the mushrooms I had on hand. Button or Cremini will do fine. Never wash your mushrooms in water before using them. They are like tiny sponges and they won’t taste as delicious. Just wipe the dirt off with a damp towel. You ate some dirt as a kid, right? That is why your immune system is so stellar.
Let the onions and mushrooms soften with the garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add your Tomato Paste. I used the entire small can. You don’t have to if you want yours a little less tomato-y. Stir around then add about 1-½ cups of wine and about a ½ cup of water. I had white wine opened so that is what I used. Red wine works great too. Always take a sip to make sure it is still good (he-he).
Then add a few good size dashes (very exact measurements I know) of Worchestire sauce and soy sauce. The soy sauce adds a nice earthy note that compliments the mushrooms.
Next settle those little beefy sextuplets back into all the yumminess that you have created in the pot. Just look at that sauce. Amazing. You can add a little more water or some canned tomatoes now. I like to be sure I am left with enough of the “gravy” from the short ribs so I can have plenty of leftovers.
I cooked mine in a slow cooker on high for about 5 hours. You could do it on low for 8 or in the oven covered in a heavy casserole or Dutch oven at 350 degrees for around 3 hours. Once the meat shreds easily it is finished. Not rocket science just regular science. Heat breaks down the connective tissue in the meat. This is why cheap cuts are cheap. You can’t just throw a short rib on the grill and cook it for 10 min and eat. You need some time. Time is your friend, it will also save you $$.
I always ladle off the fat towards the end of the cooking process. No one needs or wants it.
Look how pretty these look over some egg noodles and a side of sautéed spinach. Fritz was a happy man when I handed him this. Please do not notice my dirty paper napkin in the background.
If you are the type to need an exact recipe, then use this.