I have no words to express the dopamine rush of being able to share this plate of sinfully succulent sustenance with you. Mostly because I really cannot wait until you try it.
I mean – seriously.
A mainstay of fancy restaurant menus everywhere, short ribs have always been a mystery to me. What the heck are they, exactly? Why do people seem to like them so much? Are they an actual rib, like the kind you smoke/and/or barbecue and gnaw on like a caveman? Because yeah, those are delicious, sign me up! But these guys…well, I have my suspicions. They look kinda stubby, and sorta fatty………
so what gives with the short ribs?
Believe me when I tell you, you want to find out. Beef short ribs are like the most tender, delectably exquisite, mother lovin’ pot roast you have ever had. Definitely nothing like a spare rib, these guys require the full out hot tub party spa treatment in order to bring out their best. With this amazingly simple recipe, all you need is a slow cooker, and a few easy ingredients.
Bang it all in there at once, and walk away. Eight hours later you will have tender, fall off the bone perfection, swimming in slightly sweet, subtly spicy sauciness. It’s that easy.
Prepare to amaze yourself.
Tamari sauce (or soy sauce if that’s what you have in the fridge) rice vinegar, brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, sliced onion, minced garlic, grated fresh ginger, and about 3 lbs (probably 8 total pieces) of beef flank short ribs. This is all you need for now.
Use the finest side of a box cheese grater to get your ginger agreeably pulverized. Peeling that knobby root is slightly annoying……but just give it your best effort and don’t worry if it’s not completely nekked of it’s outer husk when you get to grating…it’s gonna be just fine, you’ll see.
Now plop everybody into your crock pot (or is it a slow cooker?), and stir it all up as best you can to get the party started. Don’t be shy, use your hands; best kitchen tools EVER!
Put the lid on the whole she-bang, plug ‘er in and set her to low.
NOTHING. TO. IT.
Now walk away.
Yes, walk away. You have eight free hours! Go do something fun. When you come back, you will be greeted with this:
big ‘ol steaming pot of meaty love. So gorgeous.
But hold up a minute.
There is an oil spill about a half an inch thick standing between this piquant pot of perfection and your plate. Surely that cannot be edible. Now what?
No problem. Remove the meat and set it aside, it should be completely falling off the bone by now. Pour the juice remaining in the crock pot into a bowl or measuring cup (a big one, okay?) and gently skim the fat that will collect off the top with a big spoon.
This is nowhere near as persnickity as it looks, in fact it is really super easy. Just keep your spoon at a shallow angle, and let the fat run right into it. You’re going to have to dip it out a few times…..until you successfully purge your sauce of any extra unwanted lardaceous-ness. There’s going to be quite a bit.
Double edged sword here, because it’s the fat content of these ribs that makes them so crazy flavorful as they cook down, yet being the (visible) fat freak that I am….yeah, admittedly it is a little icky.
But so worth it! Go ahead and pour the de-fatted sauce back into the pot. Add the meat back in (I took as much fat off of that as I could as well) and make sure your pot is set to warm or even off at this point. ooooooooooh……..getting closer now…….
But before you dig in……make sure to slice up some raw snow peas! These little guys (also known as Chinese pea pods, generally found in Asian style stir fries) make a surprisingly sublime garnish, full of juicy crunch and verdant brightness as they play off the richness of the meat. DO NOT leave these jewels out!!!
Now dish up a bowl of cauliflower rice (or regular rice…if you must) and ladle over some of that rib (no pun intended, ha) stickin’ scrumptuousness. Top it all off with a handful of those emerald-green goodies and dive in.
Head first. You will be smiling when you come up for air.
RECIPE BELOW: Not gonna lie I totally stole this from Real Simple – VERBATIM! Okay, so I replaced the regular rice with cauliflower rice (but that doesn’t count as much of a change). Kudos to them, this recipe is a keeper. Prep time is 10 minutes tops, but you’ll need 7 – 8 hours of hands-off slow-cookery hocus-pocus, be prepared for that. Cauliflower rice you can make ahead, or pulse that together in a matter of minutes. Regular rice….I don’t ever make regular rice…so don’t you either! All those empty carbs, who needs em? But you do need this short rib recipe, I promise. Serves 4.
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (or Tamari: gluten free and tastes even better than soy if you ask me!)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake (depending on how spicy you likey)
- 3 lbs short ribs
- 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- FOR THE CAULIFLOWER RICE
- 1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower, cleaned, de-stalked and roughly chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the onion, garlic, vinegar, soy (or Tamari) sauce, ginger, brown sugar, red pepper flake and short ribs in a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Turn the ribs around to coat and mix everybody together.
- Cover and cook until the beef is very tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Skim off and discard as much of the fat as you can.
- FOR THE CAULIFLOWER RICE
- In a food processor, pulse the chopped cauliflower in batches (too much in the bowl will clog up the whole system) until you have a texture that looks something like rice.
- You can use a box cheese grater for this as well, just cut the cauliflower into four pieces and grate away! It all works. Now once you have your "rice"..
- Simply sauté in a large skillet over medium heat in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, maybe 5 - 10 minutes. Putting a lid on it will help to steam and soften it quickly, but either way your rice will be cooked in no time. Make sure to season with salt and pepper.
- SERVE IT UP!
- Ladle your beautiful short rib meat over a helping of cauliflower rice. Don't forget the sauce! Sprinkle liberally with the sliced snow peas and GET AFTER IT!