By: Jennifer Fisher, The Fit Fork
Beef short ribs make such a lip-smacking and satisfying cool season meal, you’ll feel like hibernating indoors with a plate full of this rich and succulent beef that literally falls off the bone. My recipe for Shiner Bock Beer Short Ribs with Chipotle Cheese Grits is a “must-make” meal meant to pamper your primal cravings, and the convenience factor supports winter-weather laziness — simple ingredients are just thrown in a slow cooker to work their magic. While the grits are cooked separately, they take just 10 minutes.
Before you get started, there are a few things I want to share about this beef slow cooker recipe. First, when you’re at the butcher case, you may notice a couple different cuts of beef short ribs including the the shorter, squattier English cut, the longer flanken version, or boneless options — any will work fine in this easy and forgiving recipe. Second, while the fat on short ribs is what helps contribute to the insanely amazing flavor, make sure ribs have been trimmed of excess — there will still be visible fat, but it later melts away during the heat of cooking. And, third, searing your ribs for a minute max on each side before putting in the Crock Pot helps to caramelize the exterior and lock in loads of flavor. Check out these Slow Cooker Tips from a recent post.
Also, you don’t have to use Shiner Bock beer (although what Texan doesn’t love this handcrafted libation from the home state Spoetzl Brewery); any medium to dark ale will work just fine. Alcohol content evaporates away during the slow cooking process, but if you don’t want to use beer at all, just swap for a non-citrus juice like apple or pomegranate.
As for the smoky and slightly spicy Chipotle Cheese Grits, the secret to their deep and delicious flavor is using some of the leftover cooking liquid from the short ribs recipe. In fact, that short rib juice is pure liquid gold — strain off the onions and other residue, pour into a storage container, and then pull of the congealed fat once chilled. Store in the fridge for up to a week (or freezer longer) and use this liquid later as a base for soups, sauces and other such yummy things.