With the lazy days of summer over and my kids’ school year very much back in full swing, I am reacquainting myself with things such as getting breakfast ready at 7 am and packing lunches in a flash. I am also trying to use my slow cooker more because it truly makes dinner preparation a snap.

My son plays football every day after school so by the time he gets home, waiting a while for me to make something just isn’t an option…he’s too hungry! I’m a hero if there’s something ready to eat in the crockpot when we walk in the door. I like being a hero.

We love short ribs and they are really perfect for the crockpot. You want the meat to be fall-off-the-bone tender and that’s a certainly when you use a slow cooker to make them. This recipe could not be simpler and makes quite a bit: I had enough of these slow cooker Asian short ribs left over to send with my son for lunch two days after we had this for dinner.

I served the meat alongside rice (I used a red rice, but any kind that floats your boat is great: white, brown, black, etc.) and we put some of both in lettuce wraps. A sprinkling of cilantro and some homemade hot sauce is a delicious touch. (I’ve been harvesting tons of chili peppers from my garden and I’ve made a number of sauces with them: this one from Jenny is a new favorite.)

Boston lettuce works well if you, too, want to make lettuce wraps with this recipe. If not, you can serve with rice and lots of veggies on the side. Kimchi makes a terrific accompaniment.

Thanks to Smith Bites for the inspiration!


Recipe for Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

*1/2 cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
*1/4 cup honey
*1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
*2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
*3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
*1 hot chili pepper (or use 2 if you like spicy food)
*4 pounds beef short ribs, preferably grass-fed
*toasted sesame seeds (about 1 tablespoon), for garnish
*Boston lettuce leaves, chopped cilantro (and/or green onions), and cooked rice for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tamari or soy sauce, honey, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, garlic and chili pepper. Add the short ribs.

2. Cook, covered, on high for about 6 hours (or on low for about 8 hours), until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone. (If you can, move the short ribs around in the crockpot a few times during cooking so they all cook evenly.)

3. Remove short ribs from slow cooker and set aside to cool. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid and discard, then transfer the liquid to a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes.

4. Pull meat off the rib bones with your fingers or with a fork and place into a bowl. Add the reduced liquid to taste (if there is a lot left over, you can serve the rest of the sauce on the side). Transfer meat to a serving dish or bowl and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.

Books I Recommend if You Like Meat:

Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut
The Butcher’s Guide to¬†Well-Raised¬†Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More