There are some cuts of meat that just scream slow cooker! Short ribs are one of them. Sure, you can do it in a dutch oven, which I do sometimes. But it takes almost as long to do it in the oven as it does to cook on high in the slow cooker! And with the slow cooker, there is ZERO babysitting involved. You don’t even have to stir it! In fact, you really shouldn’t! That’s kind of the point of the slow cooker. Set it and forget it!
I think the reason that beef short ribs are such a fantastic cut to put in the slow cooker because they’re extraordinarily fatty…and I say that in the most loving way possible. It’s delicious, nutrient-dense, unadulterated, health-giving saturated fat. Confused yet? But wait, what about my cholesterol?! Won’t that give me a heart attack?! In a word, no. Not when the meat came from an animal that lived a happy life of roaming around in its natural environment (instead of a feed lot), eating a natural, GMO-free diet (not candy wrappers), and hasn’t been medicated with antibiotics and growth hormones. But if you were stumped when you read the words “health-giving saturated fat”, you’re not alone. Like millions of other Americans, you too, have been bamboozled.
I know that for many (probably most) of you, the concept that saturated fat might actually be beneficial to your body is pure blasphemy. And the idea that saturated fat from animals and high cholesterol will not, in fact, give you heart disease, well that’s pure ridiculous! If that’s you, I encourage you to read what can only be described as one of the most significant books on health and nutrition written thus far. I know that’s a bold statement, but that’s just the way I feel about it. Eat The Yolks by Liz Wolfe.
If you have ever:
- Counted calories, points, or carbs….this book is for you
- Stopped eating meat because you believed animal products were bad for you….this book is for you
- Eaten soy-based meat or milk substitutes….this book is for you
- Bought food that came in a box, bag, or package….this book is for you
- Thrown away an egg yolk….this book is for you
- Eaten Margarine instead of butter….this book is for you
If you answered yes to ANY of those questions (in my case, every SINGLE one), this book is for you. And even if you answered no, this book is still for you, because you’re lying.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can focus on what’s most important, which is the fact that these short ribs are wonderfully delicious. Now that we’re not afraid of fat anymore (hopefully) we can just be excited about the fact that the fat that melts off of these short ribs creates a wonderfully rich and creamy sauce. The garlic gives it deep flavor and the citrus lightens it up ever-so-slightly. And since this dish would pair perfectly with some al-dente fettuccine noodles, I served instead with my “faux”-ttuccine noodles. A much healthier option…you can hang on to the notion that prepared pasta isn’t so healthy…I’ll let you keep that idea.
- In the bottom of your slow cooker, place the diced onion, minced garlic, carrots, orange juice and zest and beef stock. Season with seal salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Season the short ribs generously with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle the herbs de Provence on the short ribs and rub it in.
- Place the short ribs in the slow-cooker.
- Put the lid on and cook on high for 4-5 hours or lo for 7-8 hours.
- When the short ribs are tender (falling off of the bone), pull the short ribs, carrots and bay leaves out of the slow cooker. Set aside to cool long enough so that you can handle the short ribs.
- In the mean time, use a vegetable peeler or a spiralizer to make your "faux"-ttuccine noodles. I like to take the green skins off of the zucchini because they're a bit bitter raw. Just make long strips with a standard vegetable peeler, by peeling lengthwise down the zucchini until you get to the seedy center.
- Set the noodles in a bowl and season them with sea salt generously. Let them sit for about 15 minutes to soften.
- While the zucchini is softening, pull the short ribs apart into large chunks and reserve.
- Now what you have left in the slow cooker is yummy oniony garlicky citrusy broth. Take an immersion blender (this is the one I use) and blend until everything is pureed. You could also do this in a blender. This is your sauce!
- To serve, place the zucchini noodles down on the plate with the beef and carrots. Top with a generous amount of the sauce, especially on the noodles as the hot sauce will warm the noodles since they haven't been cooked. Enjoy!
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