Ah, winter. The dreaded “W” word. Confession: I secretly like winter a little bit. I don’t like the 8 months that we are generally stuck with on these Saskatchewan prairies. Nor do I like -30°C (that’s -22°F for all my friends south of the border) with a windchill of -45°C (-49°F). That’s just wrong. But I do like the fluffy white snow, the -10°C (14°F), the hot chocolate, the mittens and scarves and toques, the fresh baking. And I love all the comfort food that comes with fall and winter, especially dishes that I can make in the slow cooker.
I have to admit, I am not a huge beef fan. It seems to me that there are more beef dishes and cuts that I don’t like than those I do. Meatloaf, meatballs, stew, hamburger in general…those all usually fall into the dislike category. I like steak and prime rib as long as they are rare to medium rare. Anything more than that and I’ll just eat the side dishes, thank you very much.
But this…this dish I love.
Maybe because it’s ribs. Maybe because they fall off the bone. Probably because there’s wine in it. Most likely because I can set it and forget it. All of those reasons make me happy.
This is delicious served over rice or noodles, with some fresh crusty bread to mop all the sauce up with. I didn’t get an “after” picture, because we were all starving, but it basically looks the same, except that the meat has all fallen off the bone. You’ll just have to use your imagination.
Chili sauce is a tomato sauce that has extra “stuff” added, like brown sugar, vinegar and spices. You can find chili sauce in the same aisle as the ketchup and other condiments, and it typically looks like this. Alternatively, you could make your own using a recipe like this one. And if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute ketchup, though you might be lacking in a little bit of spices.
I often prep this the night before, browning my ribs, combining all the ingredients in the slow cooker and then putting it in the fridge. That way, I can set my slow cooker first thing in the morning and supper is ready when I get home from work. That’s my kind of cooking.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.
Yield: 4 servings
- 1½ tbsp all purpose flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 lbs beef short ribs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
- 1 red pepper, julienned
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup chili sauce
- 1½ tbsp packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cold water or red wine
- In a resealable bag, combine 1½ tbsp all purpose flour with salt and pepper. Add ribs and shake to coat.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and brown ribs on all sides.
- In a large slow cooker, combine onions, carrot, red pepper, wine, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, dry mustard and chili powder. Mix thoroughly. Add ribs.
- Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Turn the slow cooker to High. Whisk 2 tbsp of flour with ¼ cup cold water or red wine until there are no more lumps and stir into the sauce. Cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.