Slow Cooker (or not) Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
with mashed sweet potatoes / mixed greens salad
This elegant meal was featured on Valentine's Day in 2017 and is great for cold winter nights. Braising the short ribs "low and slow" in the slow cooker or Dutch oven results in meat that is fall-off-the-bone tender with very little hands-on time.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes - 1 lb , peeled and cubed
- Stock, any variety - 2 Tbsp (sub water)
- Butter - 3 Tbsp
Mixed Greens Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- Bell peppers, any color - 1/2 , thinly sliced
- Vinegar, balsamic - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Honey - 1/2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Mixed greens - 5 oz
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs:
- Onions, medium - 1 , chopped
- Carrots - 8 oz , chopped
- Garlic - 4 cloves , chopped
- Beef, bone-in short ribs - 1 1/2 lbs
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, low-sodium beef - 1 cup (sub any low-sodium stock)
- Wine, red - 1 cup (sub stock)
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Thyme, fresh - 4 sprigs
- Bay leaves (opt) - 2
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Sweet potatoes / Onions / Carrots / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store sweet potatoes in one container. Combine onions, carrots, and garlic. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Slow-cook short ribs - Season short ribs with some salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then short ribs to heated oil. Sear short ribs on all sides until brown, ~8 minutes total. Transfer short ribs to the bowl of a slow-cooker. Add onions, carrots, garlic, stock (the portion for the short ribs), wine, tomato paste, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes to slow-cooker. Cover and cook until meat is very tender and falling off the bone, 7 to 8 hours on low (4 to 5 hours on high). (Note: If you prefer not to use a slow-cooker, you can also prepare the short ribs using a combination of the stovetop / oven. Sear short ribs in cooking oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to a 350F / 177C oven. Cook, covered, until rib meat is tender and falling off the bone, 2 ½ to 3 hours.)
- Bell peppers - Thinly slice peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- When the ribs are finished cooking, place potatoes into a saucepan and cover with cold water and some salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes until potatoes can be easily pierced by a knife. Drain and let sit in a colander for ~5 minutes to let the steam escape (this creates creamier potatoes vs. liquidy potatoes).
- Use a masher to mash steamed potatoes with stock (the portion for the potatoes) and butter. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
- Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and honey. Add olive oil while whisking. Toss bell peppers and mixed greens in vinaigrette.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove short ribs and vegetables from slow cooker. Serve over mashed potatoes with some of the cooking liquid spooned over top. Enjoy salad on the side.