This is the ultimate paleo & gluten-free comfort food. Seared beef short ribs simmer in a slow cooker in a beautiful red wine sauce until the meat is so tender and juicy it literally falls right off the bone.
These mouthwatering short ribs are one of my go-to recipes when I know I’m going to have a busy day, but I want to enjoy a savory dish for dinner. They take just twenty minutes to prepare in the morning, and then I leave them in the slow cooker and let them cook all day until my family sits down to eat in the evening.
There are three ways to butcher short ribs: English, flanken, and boneless. It’s cheaper to buy the cut with the bone still attached, and that’s certainly nothing to complain about as the bones give the sauce added flavor. In the flanken style, the ribs are thinly cut across the bone. Each slice ends up having a few pieces of bone. Ribs butchered English style are cut parallel to the bone. The English style works best for this dish (flanken style ribs need to be cooked quickly over high heat).
As always, I recommend grass-fed beef as it’s healthier and contains more nutrients than its grain-fed counterpart. However, it sometimes can be difficult to find grass-fed beef in supermarkets (and often I’ve seen supermarkets overpricing these meats). That’s why I was delighted to discover US Wellness Meats. Their grass-fed beef is recognized for its exceptional taste, quality and health benefits, and you can order directly online from their website to have it delivered to your door. How easy is that?
Braising is one of the most popular ways to cook short ribs. It turns the toughest and most inexpensive cuts into the most succulent meats you’ve ever tasted. First, the ribs are seared in a pan until they’re browned on either side. Searing the ribs extracts the collagen and breaks down the connective tissue, browning the outside and giving the meat an incredible depth of flavor. Then, the pot is covered, and the meat cooks in a sauce for several hours on the stove at a very low simmer, until it is soft and gently falls away from the bone when cut with a fork.
The braising process can be quite time-consuming so I decided to use a slow cooker for the second step as it can be left unattended. (If you’re looking to invest in a high-quality slow cooker, I recommend this one by Hamilton Beach). The ribs simmer slowly all day while I tackle the other things on my to-do list. When I return at the end of the day, the most delicious beef awaits me.
I do have a confession to make though. I had planned to start these ribs this morning, but before I knew it, it was already the afternoon and I only had five hours until dinner time. I decided to try cooking them on high in the slow cooker for only four hours, and the short ribs still came out wonderfully. 🙂 However, this dish really turns out best if the ribs are slow cooked on low for seven to eight hours.
To prepare the dish, I first season the ribs with salt and pepper and sear them in coconut oil over a medium heat for four minutes on each side. Then I remove the ribs and use the skillet to cook the vegetables: chopped carrots, celery, onion, and minced garlic. Next, I add coconut flour and tomato paste. For the tomato paste, I like to use this one by Bionaturae. Not only is this product gluten free and made in a dedicated facility, but it also comes in a jar which means I don’t have to worry about BPAs from the lining of a can.
After a minute, I stir in the red wine and bring to a boil. Then I lower the heat and simmer for eight minutes to reduce the liquid. Finally, I toss in the rosemary, thyme, salt and a bay leaf, and stir in the beef stock. I pour the sauce over the short ribs in the slow cooker, turn on the machine, and wait for the magic to happen.
Cooked short ribs can be refrigerated and easily reheated the next day on the stove. They actually taste even better the day after as they’ve had even more time to marinate in the delectable sauce, and the fat solidifies allowing you to scoop it off before reheating. Most of the time, though, my family devours these short ribs in minutes as soon as the slow cooker signals that they are ready. Enjoy, friends!
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Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3-4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs You can find quality grass-fed meat at US Wellness Meat
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 stalk celery sliced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free beef stock
- Rinse meat under cold water and dry with paper towels. Season short ribs with salt and pepper.
- Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Braise short ribs over a medium heat for 4 minutes on each side. Do this in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
- Transfer meat to your slow cooker.
- Add vegetables to the skillet, stir and cook for 8 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste and stir. Cook for another minute. Now stir in your wine, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer to reduce for 8 minutes. Add the rosemary, thyme, salt and bay leaf, stir in the beef stock and stir.
- Remove from stove and pour sauce over the short ribs in the slow cooker. Turn on slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
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