Slow Cooker Short Ribs Dinner

2013-11-21 11.44.53I have some very exciting news: I recently decided to invest in a Crock Pot!! OK wait, that’s not true; my dad recently invested in a Crock Pot for me, via an Amazon gift card — Thanks, Dad! But, let me tell you, I can’t get enough of this thing! It’s all round and silver and shiny… what a stud.

In all seriousness, this is the perfect tool for cooking through a crazy lifestyle. I can spend maybe 10-20 minutes in the morning putting the ingredients together in the pot, turn it on before I leave, and voila! An entirely cooked meal ready to go when I get home. I’ll admit, the first time I used it I was a tad weary of leaving a cooking device plugged in and running for the whole day while I was out…I anxiously carried my phone with me all day, half expecting to get a livid phone call telling me I’d successfully burned down my entire apartment building. However, when I returned I was pleased to find little Mr. Crock Pot cookin’ away like a champ and absolutely no sign of any mischief. It was also super easy to clean up after; you simply remove the ceramic bowl and wash it by hand or in the dishwasher. Amazingly, I even found these little crock pot liners (Reynolds brand) that you can use on extra lazy nights, which eliminate any and all cleaning afterwards. How much easier could it get?!

2013-11-21 20.55.15For the first test run using my new toy, I admit I was pretty ambitious; short ribs are not exactly in keeping with the “super easy” theme of the slow cooker. But the few minutes of extra effort when assembling the recipe were well worth it. These bad boys were an instant hit! The meat was unbelievably moist and flavorful; served alongside some mashed potatoes with a bit of garlic and parmesan cheese blended in and a simple salad, this was a wonderful winter meal for a night in.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs Dinner

adapted from Eat, Live, Run

  • 3 ½ lbs beef chuck short ribs
  • 2 whole shallots, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper, divided

2013-11-21 11.44.45Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. When hot, add the short ribs. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the ribs in the pan and brown. This will take about three to four minutes per side. You want them very nice and caramelized.

After the ribs have browned, remove from carefully and set them at the bottom of your slow cooker. Take the pan off the heat briefly to cool down, then return to medium heat and add the minced shallots and diced celery. Saute for about five minutes until tender, then add the tomato paste. Mash the tomato paste into the veggies using a rubber spatula and continue to sauté on medium heat for another four minutes.

2013-11-21 12.37.19Pour the wine and the beef broth into the skillet and stir. Add the brown sugar, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of pepper and the flour. Stir well to get rid of any flour clumps.

Bring sauce to a boil, then to a simmer. Pour sauce right over ribs in the slow cooker. Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper on top. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on HIGH for seven to eight hours or on LOW for 11-12 hours. When done, the meat should literally be falling off the bone.



Southwestern Skillet Breakfast

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Last weekend, ladies and gentlemen, Nick decided to make breakfast. That’s right, you read correctly! Nick cooked. He chopped. He mixed. He fried. He actually made an entire meal. I thought I was dreaming!

Ok, enough of this exaggeration. I am only making a big deal of it because Nick does not like to cook (probably because he thinks he’s not good at it; you know how men are). And I probably shouldn’t even be bragging because the only reason he decided to cook was to save me from having to exert any more brain power, since my entire capacity had been used trying to accomplish a difficult assignment for school. BUT, I was still thrilled nonetheless, and, as you can see, the food was more than edible!

So, I’ve since come to an important realization for people like me who need to always be in control. Sometimes, you simply have to sit back and watch. Occasionally, there are moments that provide more piece of mind than completing tasks. One of those moments is realizing that someone cares about you enough to make a little sacrifice of their time and energy to let you know that you don’t have to do everything; to allow you to escape the crazy by simply RELAXING. So, even though I did not prepare this meal (yes, he should get ALL the credit), I wanted to share it, along with some encouragement to let go every once in a while. It might sound scary, but sometimes just a few deep breaths or even a whole morning of doing absolutely nothing is just what you need to come out on the other side of the crazy and conquer the rest of the day.

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Nick’s Southwestern Breakfast Potatoes

adapted (generously) from The Pioneer Woman

  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  salt pepper
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, garlic, onion, bell pepper, olive oil, butter, paprika,  and some salt and pepper to taste.

Pour potatoes onto a baking sheet covered in tin foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring the potatoes twice.

Raise the heat to 500 degrees and bake until crisp and brown, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring twice.

Meanwhile, fry eggs on the stove. Serve the potatoes in a bowl, sprinkled with a little more salt and pepper and topped with a fried egg.