Nothing’s as satisfying as perfectly braised short ribs.
They melt under your fork and bring nothing but flavor and with this easy slow cooker recipe, you can recreate this restaurant-quality meal at home.
Braised Short Ribs over Sweet Potato Puree Recipe
Braising short ribs brings out the best beefy deliciousness imaginable. The low and slow cooking process allows the fibrous meat to become fall off the bone tender. While the flavor of the braising liquid deepens until it becomes the essence of all things great about beef.
Admittedly, the sweet potato puree is good, but with some of the braising liquid poured over them, the sweet potatoes become other worldly.
So What Exactly Is Braising Anyway?
Braising involves a two part cooking process. I know that might appear more complicated than is necessary, but there is a rhyme and reason to it. Slow cooking anything usually involves tossing everything in, then letting the low and slow heat do the work. But, in braising, you want to quickly sear the meat, then add it to a liquid for the low and slow side of things.
This is the art of braising. That initial sear helps create the base of flavor you then build upon. The liquids are not meant to cover the ribs. Rather, the braising liquids are there to help cook but also help catch all the flavor of the cooking. You might otherwise lose those flavors to the atmosphere.
Whereas, with braising the liquids become the atmosphere, dense with flavor.
Short Ribs 101
Am I the only sucker who didn’t know the joy of a short rib until I was a full-grown adult?
Can we just talk about how they may be my favorite guilty pleasure for the colder months? When done right (and don’t even bother eating them unless done right) short ribs dissolve under your fork and are one of the most tender and flavor-packed cut there is. To me, the joy of a perfectly cooked short rib is a rich and buttery experience, only topped by a perfect serving of roasted bone marrow.
Short ribs are loaded with fat, aka, flavor. So much so, a lot of people are turned off by them or are unsure of the best way to prepare them.
To create the perfect fall off the bone short rib, you want to layer on the flavors, nice and slow in a subtle way the builds over time. This isn’t a hot steamy love affair on the kitchen counter, this is a well-thumbed romance novel of earned affection.
Trust me, some things are worth waiting for.
What Is A Short Rib?
Cut from the front of the cattle, the short rib is cut from the chuck and brisket area or the rib. Short ribs are just that, a shorten rib of 3 to 6 inches when cut with hearty portions of well-marbled meat. They are often cut individually, on the bone, “English” style, or across 2 or 3, “Flanken-cut.”
Most commonly, in my markets, I see smaller English cuts out for day to day consumers. I will often ask the butcher to see if there are heftier pieces in the back as I tend to enjoy braising short ribs that are as thick as possible.
How to Cook Short Ribs
Due to the high-fat content, slow braising is perfect for thicker short ribs. The slow cooker allows the fat to render and melt through the meat, keeping them moist and saturated with flavor. A quick sear on the outside goes a long way before the ribs cook low and slow.
When ready to serve, the meat should practically melt beneath a slight touch, no knife needed. Bonus points for straining the cooking liquid and reducing to create an added layer of flavor.
For best results, I actually start my short ribs a day ahead, like a good soup, allowing the subtle layers of flavor to really get to know one another and produce a serious flavor profile. I will reheat and finish them off right before plating with a drizzle of the reduced cooking liquid.
For another killer short rib recipe, check out my Bourbon Braised Short Ribs with Honey and Fig Mac and Cheese.
NEED MORE WHOLE30 INSPIRATION? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:
- Enchilada Stuffed Smoked Poblano Peppers
- Sausage with Roasted Cabbage and Butternut Squash Puree
- Paleo Sesame Tuna Bowls
- Grilled Harissa Avocado Baked Eggs
If you’ve tried my Whole30 Approved Braised Short Ribs over Sweet Potato Puree recipe or any other recipe on GirlCarnivore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram @girlcarnivore as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
Braised Short Ribs over Sweet Potato Puree
- crock pot
- 4 lbs short ribs about 4 bones, bone on English style
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk trimmed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp flour for whole 30, use arrowroot powder
- 1 cup stout coffee stout or other dark stout, or omit and replace with 3 tbsp coconut aminos and 1 additional cup broth
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme preferably fresh cut
- parsley fresh cut for garnish
For the Sweet Potato Puree
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp cream if on whole 30, use coconut cream
- Carefully, trim the meat from the bones and place the bones in a heat safe dish.
- Cook the bones in a microwave for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned.
- Place in the slow cooker.
- Meanwhile, pat the beef dry with a paper towel and heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper.
- Add the 1 tablespoon oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat. Place the beef in the skillet and brown on all sides. Place in the slow cooker.
- In the same pan, add the remaining oil.
- Saute the onion, carrot, and celery for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft.
- Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and flour, cooking for a minute longer.
- Slowly whisk in the ale, scraping up any accumulated brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Whisk until slightly thickened and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- Turn off the heat and allow the liquid to settle.
- Add the veggies and liquid to the slow cooker. Stir in the chicken broth, bay leaves, and thyme.
- Cover and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.
- Skim the fat from the surface and discard. With a slotted spoon, remove the bones and beef from the cooking liquid.
- Discard the veggies.
- Pour the cooking liquid through a strainer into a clean pot.
- Cook at a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, until reduced by half.
- Meanwhile, make the sweet potato puree.
- Boil the diced sweet potatoes for 7 to 10 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Drain when fork tender.
- Whip the sweet potatoes with butter and cream until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve sweet potatoes with hot short ribs and reduction sauce.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.