Braising is one of my favorite ways to prepare tough cuts of meat.
This slow method of cooking breaks down the connective tissues and fat making otherwise tough cuts of meat tender, juicy, and very flavorful. I almost feel bad for people who have no idea how wonderful cheap cuts can be. Of the cheap cuts short ribs have quickly become my favorite. They have so much beef flavor, they are tender and buttery if prepared properly, and they are always a crowd pleaser. These short ribs make an excellent alternative to turkey at Thanksgiving, brisket on July 4th, and ham at Christmas.
This recipe is adapted from one by Roy Yamaguchi of Top Chef Masters and Roy’s restaurants fame. The lemongrass, galanger (a relative of ginger, which you can substitute), and garlic add a subtle flavor that work to cut some of the richness of the meat. I had something similar to this in one of his restaurants a few years back and I fell instantly in love.
Cooking the ribs in the slow cooker makes the process almost fool-proof! I also like that I have time to make the other sides while I do nothing more than smell the short ribs as they braise. This also makes this dish weeknight friendly. Just sear off the ribs the night before, chop the veggies, and the next morning just dump it all in the slow cooker and … poof! Instant awesome main dish. Hands off is the way to go here.
Slow-Cooker Braised Short Ribs with Honey Garlic Glaze Serves 4-6
Adapted from Roy Yamaguchi
For the short ribs:
2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
Salt and pepper
2 ounces canola oil
Beef stock, enough to fully cover the short ribs (about 32 ounces)
6 cloves garlic, sliced thick
1 large onion, sliced into 1 inch rings
1 stalk celery, sliced thick
2 carrots, sliced thick
2 bay leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in half and brused
1 inch piece of peeled ginger
Honey Garlic Glaze:
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1/4 cup sliced green onions, both white and green
Allow the ribs to come to room temperature for thirty minutes. Season all sides of the ribs well with salt and pepper.
Heat one ounce of the canola oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Working in two batches, brown the ribs well on all sidesl, about two minutes per side. Once the first batch is browned drain the fat and add the second ounce of oil and brown the remaining ribs.
In your slow cooker make a bed with the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, lemon grass,bay leaf, and galangal. Place the browned ribs on top and add enough beef stock to just cover.
Cook on low for eight hours, or on high for four. The meat will be very tender and you may lose a few bones. (That is a good thing.) Allow the ribs to cool in the slow cooker while you prepare the glaze.
In a bowl mix the ingredients for the glaze. Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and, while still warm, pour the glaze over the ribs making sure they are well coated. Allow the ribs to sit for at least thirty minutes, or store in the refrigerator overnight.
While the ribs rest heat your grill, or a skillet, to medium high heat. Grill, or sear, the ribs for about one minute per side, or until the glaze sets and the ribs are brown and crusty.
Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, or pasta. Or, eat them all alone.