Adapted from Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes by Laura Frankel
This recipe is especially succulent. Ask your butcher for "English cut" short ribs. This cut tends to be tender, makes a better presentation, and is very economical. (The other common cut for short ribs is "flanken cut," which is great in soups and stews.)
5 pounds beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
¼ cup dried porcini dust*
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 large Spanish onions, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium bulb fennel (white part only), trimmed, cored and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cups red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups chicken stock
Bouquet garni of 1 bay leaf, 6 thyme sprigs, 6 parsley stems, 1 rosemary sprig, tied together with kitchen twine
Place the short ribs in a large stockpot filled with water and bring to a boil. Boil the short ribs for 5 minutes and drain. (This helps remove the fat).
Pat dry the ribs thoroughly with paper towels. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
Combine the dried thyme, rosemary, porcini dust and flour in a bowl.
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Dredge the ribs in the porcini mixture. Brown the ribs in batches until the ribs are browned on all sides. Transfer the ribs to the insert of a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker.
Pour off most of the excess fat from the sauté pan. Brown the vegetables in batches, making sure to season each batch with salt and pepper. Add the garlic to the last batch of vegetables and continue cooking for several minutes. Do not over-brown the garlic.
Transfer the browned vegetables to the insert for the slow cooker. Add the wine to the pan with the tomato paste. Stir together to break up the tomato paste. Be sure to gather the browned bits by gently scraping the pan with a spatula or spoon.
Transfer the wine mixture to the insert for the slow cooker. Add the chicken stock and bouquet garni. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours.
Remove the short ribs from the insert and set aside. Pour the liquid, with the vegetables, through a fine-mesh strainer into a sauce pan. Gently press on the veggies to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the veggie mixture.
Skim the fat off the liquid and reduce over high heat by ½ or until the liquid is thick and coats the back of a spoon. This takes about 10 minutes.
Place the ribs on a platter and pour the sauce over the ribs.
Serve with White Bean Ragu.
Yield 8 to 10 Servings
1 ounce (1/4 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
Process the mushrooms to a powder in a blender or food processor. Sift out any large pieces and reprocess them. Store in a tightly covered container away from light for up to three months.
Makes about 3 tablespoons