The slow cooker may just be my favorite kitchen appliance.
The slow cooker, also known as the crock pot, is perfect when you're looking to make a meal that requires minimal effort, maximum reward. All you do is throw your ingredients together into one large pot, cover and cook for 6-8 hours, and Voila!
Slow cookers are designed to cook food at a lower temperature compared to more conventional methods, such as the stovetop, grill, or oven. A typical slow cooker is designed to heat food to 170 F degrees on the 'low' setting, and around 190-200 F degrees on the 'high' setting.
This makes it the perfect device for slow cooking meats, stews, and many other one-dish wonders. After slow cooking for 6-8 hours, the meat is literally falling off the bone, and just so, so tender!
For this particular dish, I decided to make Asian short ribs using the slow cooker. I seared the short ribs, chopped up some veggies, created a soy sauce based mixture, threw everything into the slow cooker, and went straight to bed. I woke up 8 hours later to the smell of slow simmered short ribs filling my house...doesn't get much better than that!
Embarrassingly easy, it is both a quick weeknight meal, as well as an "I'm having company over and need to impress" dish.
4 lbs beef short ribs, bone in
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch segments
1 1/2 onion, quartered
6 shiitake mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed
6 slices ginger, about 1/4" thick
1/2 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups brown rice, cooked
S&P to taste
4 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
1. Heat dutch oven to high heat and add few swirls of olive oil. Once hot, add short ribs and sear on each side, seasoning individually and generously with salt and pepper. Keep turning them periodically to get a nice, deep dark brown caramelization on all sides, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add the carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and ginger to the crock pot. Also, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine, and brown sugar to create your sauce.
3. Transfer the caramelized bones to the crock pot, layering them on top of the veggies. Pour in the sauce, distributing evenly over the bones.
4. Cook, covered, for 5-6 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low. When ready, meat should be very tender and falling off the bone.
5. Meanwhile, cook brown rice according to package instructions.
6. When about to serve, skim the fat from the cooking liquid and discard. Add in cornstarch and sesame oil and stir well to thicken sauce.
7. Serve hot over brown rice, making sure to spoon plenty of sauce over the rice. Garnish generously with scallions. Enjoy!
8 hours later...Slow simmered goodness of short ribs, carrots, onions, and mushrooms...delicious!