By NewsLine Staff
Slow cookers are a handy tool for any home chef, particularly those who juggle busy daily schedules. With slow cookers, meals can be prepared in advance and then left to simmer for hours while they develop deep flavors as meats become tender and succulent.
When cooking recipes in a slow cooker, it’s best to choose cuts of meats and poultry that can stand up to long cook times. These cuts tend to be more fibrous and tough, but will tenderize with time. Short ribs, for example, are a prime option for slow cooking magic. They’re the star of this recipe for “Bacon, Onion & Stout Braised Short Ribs” from “Crock-Pot® 365 Year-Round Recipes” (Publications International, Ltd.) from The Crock-Pot Kitchens.
4 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs, well trimmed
1 tsp. salt, plus additional for seasoning
½ tsp. ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
6 oz. thick-cut bacon cut into ¼-inch dice
1 large onion, halved and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 bottle (12 oz.) Irish stout
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley leaves
Hot mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles (optional)
Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Working in batches, cook short ribs in skillet, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer each batch to a slow cooker as it is finished. Wipe out pan with paper towels and return to heat.
Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about four minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Remove and discard all but one tablespoon drippings from pan. Reduce heat to medium and add onion. Cook until softened and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste, flour, mustard, one teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, one minute. Remove from bottom of pan. Pour over short ribs. Add drained bacon, bay leaf and beef broth. Cover and cook on low eight hours, or until meat is tender and falls off the bone.
Remove beef and skim fat from cooking liquid. Remove bay leaf and stir in parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
Tip: This recipe can be cooked ahead and refrigerated overnight.
Photo courtesy MetroCreative
Slow-cooked short ribs and mashed potatoes make for a tasty meal.