Short Ribs for My Shorty

curried short ribs
I think it’s time to really admit it. Summer is over. It’s hard, letting go of my favorite season in Chicago. But this year, it’s been even more difficult because in the midwest at least, we were sort of jipped, robbed, of our summer. Unseasonably cool, rainy, and sad intermixed with a few gorgeous, sunny, and sometimes blistering hot days. Now that I think about it in that way, I’m suddenly having an easier time saying goodbye. Goodbye lackluster summer, hello lovely fall.

If I still lived down South, I’d be beyond excited right about now. Fall is definitely the best season down that way – the summers are brutal and fall means that you can finally turn the air conditioning from level 4 to level 2 in the car. You can buy ice cream again without it melting in the grocery bag before you get home. And you can stop expecting to receive a chinese fan or battery-powered wind maker as your gift at the outdoor weddings.

searing short ribs

And although I do love my Chicago summers, I am still a mighty big fan of the fall. Sure, I love watching the leaves change color – who doesn’t? I also like that people start to wear more clothes because, let’s be honest, those gypsy sandals and short skirts really aren’t that cool, right? And what’s with those shirts that hang off of one shoulder? Wasn’t that only cool when Debbie Gibson was making music?

Aside from all that though, you know what else I really love about the fall? Warm, comforting, satisfying food. Soup, roasted butternut squash, chili, and all things slow cooker.

slow cooker

It’s not that you can’t use those slow cookers in the summer. In fact, I think I made this dish back in June when I had a crazy craving for short ribs – I couldn’t help myself when I saw the coconut milk and red curry paste, as we all know I love those Asian flavors. Slow cooker recipes are ultra convenient – turn that puppy on and come home to short ribs that literally fall off the bone when you pick them up (if they haven’t already) and a rich sauce full of all those scrumptious flavors of ginger, fish sauce, and the already-mentioned coconut milk and curry. Or if you’re like me, use it on the weekend when you’re home during the day so you can also smell the goodness all day long!

But please, don’t just dump that sauce on top of your short ribs, unless you are dying for extra cholesterol points. Please people, drain the fat…

drain the fat

Then dump that lovely sauce all over those short ribs and rice. I know you’ll be excited by this point, but don’t forget the final touches of lime zest and juice – they brighten up the flavors like you wouldn’t believe.

Curried Beef Short Ribs
Adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009; serves 6

2 t canola oil
2 lbs beef short ribs, trimmed
1 1/2 t kosher salt, divided
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 c minced shallots
3 T minced garlic
3 T minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 c water
2 T red curry paste
1/4 c light coconut milk
1 T sugar
1 T fish sauce
1 t grated lime rind
1 T fresh lime juice
4 c hot cooked basmati rice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ribs in slow cooker. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs.
Add shallots, garlic, and ginger to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water and curry paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce. Add coconut milk mixture to cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.

Remove ribs from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, rind, and juice. Shred rib meat with 2 forks; discard bones. Serve sauce over ribs and rice.

9 thoughts on “Short Ribs for My Shorty

  1. Jenn Sutherland says:

    Whoa…this looks amazing. Can you believe that I don't have a slow cooker? I've been meaning to get one for a couple years, but I think this one just tipped the scale…I NEED to make this. And I'm with you, I love the flavors of fall the best!

  2. Michael and Kenna says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe idea. I made these on Saturday (sort of a chilly fall day) for a dinner party. Everyone loved them and that sauce ROCKS.

  3. Kate and Kirk head West says:

    OK, I admit that I've been lurking this blog for a long time…with great enjoyment. But you really got me with this on. I'm dusting off my crock-pot and MAKING these ribs.Heather, you're the best.

  4. Heather says:

    Kate!! I miss you – a lot. glad to know you're still reading the bloggy! we have to catch up soon, and i need to hear more about your venture west. sounded fun!!

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