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A few months back, I received a request from a friend of mine. She was requesting a recipe of course, one that would solve all of her problems, one that would make her days easier and her meals more delicious, and of course it had to go in the Crock Pot. And it couldn’t be soup.
“And don’t make it too fancy,” she said. “If I have to go to the grocery store to get some spice, I ain’t gonna make it.”
“Yes ma’am,” I promised.
One does not argue with an Armstrong. Especially one who is trying to figure out how to work, mother a baby, feed herself and a picky-eater husband all while riding the waves of post-partum hormones. That’s how people get shot in rural America.
So, for many weeks I have worked on just the right way to get a great meal out of a slow-cooker. I did it for the harried, stressed out, and over-whelmed mothers of the world, but mostly I did it for Hannah. I hope she likes it and if she doesn’t like it…I hope she doesn’t shoot me.
What are Boneless Short Ribs?
I like to think of them as the country style rib of beef ( instead of pork). They need a good amount of cook time to be tender, but are delicious nonetheless and work well in this type of recipe, which is basically a braise.
Marinara in a slow cooker
The slow cooker is a great way to cook a marinara when you don’t have the time to hang around and let it simmer on the stovetop.
This marinara is the only way I make my pasta sauce, with the majority of the sweetness coming from a healthy dose of balsamic vinegar and just a little bit of sugar.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle the short ribs with a ½ teaspoon salt and add to the skillet. Brown on both sides and then remove to a large crock pot.
- Add the onion, garlic and Italian seasoning to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the salt, red pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Cook and stir for another 1 minute then add the mixture to the crock pot with the beef.
- Add the tomatoes into the crock pot. Fill one of the tomato cans halfway with water and add that to the crockpot as well.
- Cover the crock and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 6 hours. Remove the short ribs from the sauce, shred with a fork and return to the sauce.
- Serve over hot cooked pasta with parmesan and crusty bread.