Braised short ribs and spaetzle – warmth in the kitchen

I admit it.  I’m not really a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I’m not a fan of turkey. Another meal of a 20 pound bird when I cook enough chicken over the course of the calendar feels like a bit much.  Plus, the way I cook these days, it’s just SO MUCH FOOD.  I promise, I’m not being a holiday buzz kill!

So, I give you  a look into a slow cooked braised short rib gig.  I adapted my dish from a recipe from Anne Burrell of the Food Network, so thanks for the inspiration Anne.  I love that my dinner came from these ingredients.  Looks like a pretty simple task, no?

This meal came from these ingredients
This meal came from these ingredients

Music of the day, since I had no one in the house:  Fugazi’s “First Demo”.  I love energy in the kitchen, and when I’m by myself, loud-fast rules.  

Fugazi "First Demo" album cover
Fugazi “First Demo” album cover

Easy for the short ribs:  Salt/pepper on each side and into a pan to brown up (3 minutes or so, get it nice and brown).  Take the ribs out , drain off the fat and put the ribs in the slow cooker.  I used 2 cups of beef stock to cover the meat.

Next up was the vegetable mix – carrots, onions, shallots, garlic, celery.  Make a “mush” in the food processor and then saute away until they brown up.  This would be a great time to add your wine and deglaze.  I used 2 cups of Cabernet and Pinot Noir.  I love the sound and smells caused by the wine going into the hot pan.  Scrape all the good sticky bits up!

Wine and vegetable sauce
Wine and vegetable sauce

I cooked the veggie mash down for probably 15 minutes (try to reduce liquid by half).  After that, the sauce went into the slow cooker, as well.

I even made a first time spätzle (herbed, and pretty good).  Chives and thyme, flour, egg, milk.

IMG_1479 (1)
Easy dough – egg, milk, flour, herbs


Made the dough and pushed it through a slotted spoon with a spatula.  Dropped into boiling water and cooked for 90 seconds.  Then into the ice bath.  Saved those for later to serve as the “bed” for the short ribs.

90 seconds in boiling water, then into an ice bath

I bundled some thyme and tarragon together, threw in 2 small bay leaves on top of the “stew” in the slow cooker now containing the short ribs and veggies, and set it on “high” for 4 hours, then turned it down to low and let it simmer.  The result was a falling off the bone short rib (but still able to handle it) and a truly wonderful rich, dark sauce that smelled SO good.

The finished braised short rib with spatzel
The finished braised short rib with spatzle

Drop me a message, leave a comment or tell me what kind of music you love to have playing when you cook up a meal.  This dinner was fun, flavorful, a bit challenging at times, but ultimately very simple.  Curiosity and energy in the kitchen is what I strive for.  What about you?


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