Shut the front door……brrrr, its cold! Ok, maybe it’s only 90 degrees- but, it’s a brisk 90! Football is being played, and that means fall is in the air. Our first cold front in South Texas this year brought forth two beautiful days of 74 degrees, followed by the brisk 90 we have settled into. Next thing you know, it’ll be time for Christmas, pulling calves in sleet storms, days of never getting out of your coveralls, and Tony Romo letting us down in some form or fashion.
I love fall! It’s like the cooler weather makes me a better cook. Food takes on a more intense meaning than just my spicy burgers or tender rib-eyes. Activity picks up as we start running out of daylight. There are road trips for football games, weekends working at the deer camp, and late nights on a tractor prepping the winter pastures. So, keeping the energy up becomes a top priority. For me that usually includes a few batches of my special slow cooker beef short ribs. Recently, I came across a new recipe that included ginger-mango-and hickory barbecue sauce- so, of course it caught my attention.
I’m going to walk you through my version of the recipe, but you can check out the link here at: http://www.herefordbeef.org/content/uploads/2013/09/Slow-Cooker-Beef-Short-Ribs-with-Ginger-Mango-Barbecue-Sauce.pdf.
2 pounds beef short ribs, boneless, most cuts are 2x2x4 inch pieces (But never pass up an opportunity to go big, just be sure your resources can handle it!)
1-1/2 cups diced, fresh, or drained jarred mango (I’m the ultimate life hack, so I opted for 2 mango-peach fruit cups and just drained the juice.)
1 medium onion chopped (I seriously wept at this part, no pun intended.)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (Ok, my grocery store had fresh ginger, but after standing around and starting to look suspicious waiting for a pretty girl to ask her how she liked her ginger, and how to mince it, I felt it best to just buy it off the spice rack.)
1 cup hickory flavored barbecue sauce (You can never go wrong with Sweet Baby Rays!)
*This recipe as based makes 4 to 6 servings.
(So easy a caveman can do it!)
The key to this operation is the slow cooker! Connie the Cooker as pictured above has helped me pull off many a successful meal. (Meaning there’s not much she’s ever put out after a few hours that I haven’t been able to serve!) You want to place all your ingredients in the cooker. The order you do that doesn’t really matter, but I prefer to place the meat first then add the ingredients on top. Be sure to make the barbecue sauce last though. This allows the juices to percolate through the meat as its cooking. Makes for a pretty good air freshener, too! Who doesn’t want to come home and open the door to the ultimate man cave, and smell the piquant aroma of meat? (Vegetarians, Vegans, Fruitarian, and any other non-meat eating inhabitants of Earth, please stop reading now.)
(5 minutes to put together, still plenty of time to catch SportsCenter, shower, shave, and think about heading to work.)
If you are not planning on being back till the end of the day then cover and set your cooker to low and you should be good for about 7 ½ to 8 ½ hours. This batch was on low for 11 hours and still came out delicious. If you are short on time you can cook them on high for 3 ½ to 5 ½ hours. Just make sure you turn them off in time. There’s no reason to ruin good meat. Especially, if it’s a succulent tender Certified Hereford Beef cut.
So, whether the mission is to feed yourself, the ultimate tailgate party, your buddies at deer camp, a family of four, or a hot Thursday night date you cannot go wrong with this recipe. It’s simple, delicious, and an excellent source of protein! I’ll let you choose what sides to serve, but I usually go with something green or some sweet potatoes. I won’t share my recipes on those. I can’t let all me secrets go, but rest assured if you do your beef ribs right, nobody will care what the sides are as long as the meat candy’s there.
Now get out and enjoy the cooler weather!