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Lackluster Short Ribs Become Delicious Spaghetti

October 5, 2008

Delicious, meaty spaghetti

I am all about finding new lives for leftovers, so I have to admit I’m a big fan of the new Bon Appetit column, Family Style. Every month they feature one meal, and a creative idea for the leftovers. They’re always simple and not too time consuming, and October’s especially caught my eye: Braised Short Ribs. It’s starting to feel like slow cooker time, and I’d never made short ribs, so I had to try it. But even from the beginning, their suggestion to use the leftovers for spaghetti sauce sounded even better than the braised short ribs themselves. And it was.

Sadly, my first attempt at short ribs just wasn’t that spectacular, and I blame it on the fact that I didn’t want to run across the street for a bottle of wine at 8 in the morning. Yet again, the inability to buy a bottle of wine in most grocery stores in Massachusetts thwarted dinner. I forgot to make a stop at the wine store after grocery shopping, and when I started putting it all together in the morning, I had to substitute water in the recipe. And that was a bad substitution. I suspect the wine would have added more flavor, and perhaps helped eliminate some of the greasiness that resulted.

Braised Short Ribs

But you know, I won’t say they were bad. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I wanted them to be transcendent and mind blowing, and they were just…good. I do plan to try this recipe again, with a bottle of wine in hand. If for no other reason than that the ribs really did make phenomenal spaghetti sauce.

Spaghetti Dinner with salad

I don’t usually buy jarred tomato sauce, because, well, I’m not really a marinara kinda girl. But add in some slow cooked beef, and you have something so much better than simple tomato sauce.

Braised Short Ribs to be Used for Delicious Spaghetti

  • 4 lb. short ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. red wine (please, don’t use water)
  • 1 14-ounce of diced tomatoes, with juices
  • about 2 or 3 c. sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 gloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 6 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

This couldn’t be easier: Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper, and place them in a layer in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on the low setting for eight hours. Et voila, delicious meat, to be eaten as is, or thrown into some tomato sauce and served over pasta.

Short Rib Spaghetti

I made mashed potatoes to go along with the short ribs, with creme fraiche and plenty of butter, and I remembered that it’s actually really easy to make mashed potatoes, and I really love mashed potatoes. And therefore I should make them way more often. It’s very easy to make dinner with the slow cooker, and I hope to take more advantage of it this winter than I have in the past. I’m sorry, slow cooker, for having neglected you so long. I promise to make it up to you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 6, 2008 10:15 am

    I love using the slow cooker this time of year and into winter. It is especially perfect for BBQ pulled pork and beef stew!

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