I know it’s summer, and you’re thinking that Red Wine Short Ribs and crockpot dinners should be saved for the cold weather. But, please, before you write me off as crazy, hear me out!
I would like to present three arguments to the court to support my position that Crockpot Chianti Short Ribs DO indeed belong in the summer (and every other season) and ARE indeed what you want to cook tonight.
Argument number one: It’s summer time, and I don’t want to take a lot of time cooking an awesome meal. (I say that like my laziness changes seasonally… We all know it really doesn’t matter what time of year it is…) But, I still want to eat something awesome! When I want to put in minimal effort and have maximum return, slow braising meat until it’s melty soft (I believe the proper culinary term is “fork tender”) is the way to go.
Argument number two: It’s summer time, and I don’t want a hot kitchen fogged up by the oven or stove on for hours to make the aforementioned yummy braised meat. Buuuuut, I still want my minimal effort, impressively tasty meal! So, to keep my house heat low and my deliciousness return high, I pull out ye old slow cooker.
Argument number three: One of the only four ingredients (plus one optional) (yep, that’s it!) that make these ribs awesome is WINE. And I mean, c’mon, wine dishes are good ALL YEAR ‘ROUND.
Is the court not quite convinced? Your honor, I call my first witness, Broke Wallet, to the stand.
Now, Mr. Wallet, would you please tell the court what your name means?
Broke Wallet: Urmm, it means I don’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy food.
What a tragedy. That must prove quite difficult when your gold-digging girlfriend, Miz Foodie Tastebuds, loves fancy, delicious foods.
Broke Wallet: You’d think so, but I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.
You do? What kinds of tricks?
Broke Wallet: Well, for example, this weekend I made her a wonderful dinner. I bought some boneless short ribs ribs for only $3.99 a pound, yeah you heard me right, and braised those babies real show until they were fork tender. [Mr. Wallet knows whats up.]
Mr. Wallet, did you say just $3.99 a pound?? So you were able to make a delicious meal for only a little money!? Doggone it, we should all do such things!
Your honor, I rest my case.
Now, normally, short ribs cooked in red wine are braised in a heavy, full bodied, dry red wine, like a Cabernet. And while I love my Cabernets, for this summer variation I wanted to cook my ribs in a red wine that was a little lighter in body and just a little spicier in flavor. Wandering the wine aisles, I knew I’d found my match when my eyes landed on some gorgeous Chiantis. (Why did I ever stop drinking Sangiovese wines!? I used to love them!) I knew a Chianti was the perfect wine for this dish.
Note: If you can’t find or don’t want to use a Sangiovese wine, I recommend a Syrah or Shiraz instead.
Not only is this dish super cheap and spectacularly delicious, it’s crazy easy. Sear your short ribs at night, marinate them while you sleep in red wine and herbs, put all ingredients in a slow cooker to cook while you’re at work, and come home to an amazing dinner all set in 15 minutes!
I served the short ribs over parmesan creamy wheat cereal, my corn-free polenta replacement. If you don’t have my allergies, serve your short ribs over cheesy polenta, mashed potatoes, or curly pasta. Toss some asparagus in hot olive oil and salt to serve on the side for a full and balanced meal!
Have I convinced you? 😉
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt per short rib
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 2 1/2 cups Chianti or other medium bodied, spicy red wine (see notes above)
- 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms, optional
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup creamy wheat cereal
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper, optional
- On layers of paper towels, dry the short ribs thoroughly. This is very important to get a good sear. After they've been dried all over, season both sides of the ribs with sea salt.
- Melt the tablespoon of butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the butter has melted and is hot, add half of the short ribs to the skillet. You want there to be plenty of space in between the short ribs to ensure they're searing and not steaming in the skillet.
- When the short ribs have gotten a nice brown sear on one side (should take about 3-5 minutes), flip them over to the other side using tongs. When both sides are nicely browned, remove the ribs to a 9x13 baking dish.
- Repeat to sear the remaining short ribs.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the herbs to the hot skillet. Pour in the wine and chicken broth and stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned meat bits and stirring in the yummy meat juices from the skillet. Add the dried mushrooms if you're using them.
- Pour the herb-broth-wine mixture over the short ribs in the baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, add the contents of the baking dish to a slow cooker (like this one). Cover and cook on Low for 10 hours, or until the meat falls apart with a dreamy sigh. (Note: The sigh will come from you, not the meat.)
- In a large pot, bring water and sea salt to a boil over medium heat.
- While stirring consistently, slowly pour in 1 cup of creamy wheat cereal. Continue stirring smoothly to break up any lumps.
- The wheat cereal will be cooked in about 3-5 minutes. When it is done, remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.
- Serve the short ribs and red wine sauce over the parmesan "polenta" and enjoy!
PS. Did you see that StrictlyDelicious was featured on BuzzFeed last week?! How exciting!
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