This Sunday, we're making a beef short rib braise in the slow cooker. The meat gets gorgeously tender with very little effort. By the time our favorite show is on HBO, dinner is ready.
This sauce here is quite savory. The wine does the heavy-lifting on the sweet front, but even its efforts are kept to a minimum so that the beef's natural flavors show through without anything cloying in the mix.
No need for a side dish. The peppery rutabaga (sometimes called a "Swede") will add plenty of flavor and round out the meal. Rutabaga can be tough to peel. A vegetable peeler may be the best tool, although a sharp paring knife will do the job pretty quickly.
Figure on four servings for these amounts. Double almost all the ingredients for a 7- or 8-quart slow cooker but use only 1 3/4 cups broth in the mix.
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 pounds (450 grams) boneless beef short ribs
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 1/4 pounds (500 grams) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup (240 ml) beef broth
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine, such as Chardonnay or Chablis
- 2 tablespoons (15 gram) all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Set a large skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes, then swirl in the oil. Brown the short ribs, working in batches to prevent crowding, about 6 minutes per batch, turning on all sides. (Brown = flavor, so don't cheat this step.) Transfer the short ribs to a 4-quart slow cooker and continue browning more as necessary.
2. Dump the onions into the skillet; cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Stir in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and allspice; then scrape the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker. Add the rutabaga and toss well to coat everything with the spices.
3. Whisk the broth, wine, and flour in a medium bowl until the flour dissolves; pour over the contents of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is very tender, meltingly so. The dish will stay well on the keep-warm setting for 2 more hours.