There's a dish I love to make during the holiday season, especially now that it's getting colder. I served it on Friendsgiving this year, but it's very non-traditional in many ways.
A couple of years ago, when I used to work in the hotel industry, I participated in a recipe contest and won a slow cooker, so I wanted to put this equipment to good use.
I have to tell you this recipe was not the winner of this contest. I am not a gadget-y chef. Over the years, I've learned you only really need a couple of good utensils such as a great knife, the appropriate cutting board, a decent frying pan, a cast iron skillet, a braiser, etc. to be successful in your kitchen. At the end of the day, it's about having the correct cooking equipment to have success in your kitchen.
A slow cooker is a great piece of equipment, because once you place all the necessary ingredients in it, it does the work for you. It also will save you time, and will prepare your dish slowly and maintain the nutrients of the food. In fact, cooking food at lower temperatures helps to maintain its nutrients. Food cooked slowly simply tastes better, especially these beef short ribs!
Braised Short Ribs
2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
1 cup wild rice
3 pieces celery
2 bay leaves
Half a medium size onion
1 cup red wine
3 cups of water
4 Tablespoons soy sauce (light is recommended)
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and let sit in fridge overnight. Soak the rice in cold water for 30-60 minutes prior to preparing the dish.
When you are ready to begin preparing the dish, sear the short ribs in batches with grapeseed oil. This browning step will give the dish more flavor.
Once seared on both sides, take the ribs out of the pan, and deglaze the pan with the red wine. Drain the rice. Let the wine reduce to half and add the ribs and sauce to the slow cooker with the drained wild rice, vegetables, bay leaves, water and soy sauce.
Set your slow cooker to the lowest setting and let it simmer for about 5-6 hours,until the short ribs are nice and soft and falling apart. The length of time will depend how large the pieces of short ribs are. Having smaller pieces will reduce your braising time.
Once the short ribs are done, the wild rice will be cooked as well. It will rise to the surface when it is done. Now is time to taste and check if you need to add more seasoning. Adding the soy sauce to this dish really brings out the flavors of the wild rice. I normally would add a bit more soy sauce at the end of the cooking process. This is really taste driven, so it is up to you.
You can enhance this dish by serving it with roasted Brussels sprouts or caramelized butternut squash. This dish freezes particularly well, just make sure you are placing it in an airtight container.
If you have a Crock Pot that you don't know what to do with, join us for our Crock Pot and Cast Iron Cookery class on Saturday, January 5 at 10am at Lincoln Square. You'll also learn how to braise in our upcoming Prost! Celebrating German Cuisine class on Sunday, January 13 at 5pm at Lincoln Square. You will make braised German Rouladen (Rolled Flank Steak) with Braised Red Cabbage, one of my personal favorites!
And for the ultimate class on braising, join us for Braising Boot Camp on Saturday, February 23 at 10am at the Mart. This day-long class focusing on the best of the best of one-pot meals.