I couldn’t resist buying something from the beef guy at the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market. How could I? I had already bought something from practically every other vendor there. We went home with a 2 pound package of beautiful beef short ribs. The question was…what to do with them?
My normal tendency would be to brown them, braise them/slow cook them in my beloved Le Creuset dutch oven, but I really didn’t want to deal with the oven being on for hours in this heat…and only millionaires have central air in Brooklyn. Then it hit me…what better time to take advantage of that staple of nearly every wedding registry, the trusty crockpot.
Kitty’s Slow Cooked Chipotle Beef Short Ribs
Makes 2 generous portions
2 pounds beef short ribs
For the liquid:
2 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce)
1 can beef broth
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
salt & pepper
Step 1: In a blender or food processor, blend the liquid ingredients until the peppers and garlic are mostly blended. Step 2: Place the beef ribs in the crockpot, and cover with the liquid so the ribs are more than halfway covered. Add water if needed.
Step 3: Set the crockpot to low, for at least 8 hours. Step 4: After 4 or so hours, instruct whomever is at home to turn the meat over once. This prompted my husband to say to me over the phone “Uh-oh, the meat is starting to fall off the bone.” Ummmm….. yum. Step 5: You should have just returned home to find your husband salivating from all the amazing aromas wafting through your house. Ignore him. You still have a little more to do. Beef ribs are extremely fatty, and at this point, much of it should have separated itself from the meat. Remove as much of it as you can, and skim the fat off the top of the liquid. Step 6: Remove the meat and set aside. Ladle the liquid into a small saucepan, draining through a mesh sieve. Heat the sauce to bubbling, whisk in some flour, and you’ll have a delicious gravy. Step 7: Serve on top a bed of sour cream and scallion mashed potatoes, as we did, or whatever you choose (creamy polenta was my next choice). Ladle gravy over top, and garnish with some fresh flat leaf parsley.
I know what you are thinking…”Kitty, they look delish, but were they too spicy?” I was worried they would be also, and chose the sour cream mashed potatoes for their cooling factor. Surprisingly, the spice was not too overpowering. Yes, they did have a little “twang”, as my husband would say, but overall, I would rate them a 3 on a 1-10 spiciness scale.
You may also be asking “Kitty, why didn’t you brown the meat before you put it in the crockpot…were you drinking?” The answer to that being no, I was not drinking, but now I know what kind of deviant you are for thinking it would be normal to be drinking at 9am. The truth is, in Jamie Oliver’s Family Dinners book, he recommends not browning a meat that is to be slow cooked, as would traditionally be done, but skipping the step entirely. I have toyed with this method for a few recipes now, and found it has produced some winners.
And this recipe was definitely a winner. So remember, just because it’s summer, that’s no reason to ignore your favorite slow cooked recipes. Next time, I am definitely sneaking some veggies into that thing…