There aren’t many short rib preparations that I haven’t enjoyed. This versatile, tasty cut of beef gives us everything you can ask for in beef: You get marbled beef, and bones for flavor. This recipe is especially succulent and is perfect for any holiday meal, especially Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights. It's also spectacular in fall or winter for a cozy family dinner at home and is elegant enough for entertaining.
Tips: Ask your butcher for “English cut” short ribs rather than “flanken cut” short ribs. English cut short ribs tend to be tender, make a better presentation, and are very economical. "Flanken cut" short ribs are best in soups and stews.
Place the short ribs in a large stockpot filled with water and bring to a boil. Boil the short ribs for 5 minutes. Drain and discard the water. (This helps remove the fat.)2.
Pat dry the ribs thoroughly with a paper towel. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.3.
Combine the dried thyme, dried rosemary, ground porcini mushrooms and flour in a bowl.4.
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Dredge the ribs in the porcini mixture. Brown the ribs in batches until the ribs are browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the ribs to the insert of a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker.5.
Pour off most of the fat from the sauté pan. Brown the celery, onions, carrots, and fennel in batches, about 7 minutes per batch. Season each batch with salt and pepper. Add the garlic to the last batch and cook for 3 minutes more, until the garlic is very fragrant and slightly softened. Do not overbrown the garlic.6.
Transfer the browned vegetables to the insert. Add the wine and the tomato paste to the sauté pan. Stir together with a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the tomato paste. Gently scrape the pan to gather up the browned bits.7.
Transfer the wine to the insert. Add the stock and bouquet garni. Cover and cook on Low for 10 hours.8.
Remove the short ribs from the insert and place them on a platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep them warm. Pour the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan. Discard the vegetables and bouquet garni. Skim the fat off the liquid. Reduce over high heat by one half, or until the liquid is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the ribs.9.
Serve with your choice of accompaniment like grits, rice, polenta or potatoes.
Reprinted with permission from "Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes" by Laura Frankel, Agate Surrey, 2015.