Pressure Cooker Porcini and Tomato Beef Short Ribs

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In the kitchen, one plus one can equal much more than three. By combining ingredients packed with umami (mushrooms! beef! tomatoes!), you can exponentially increase the mouth-filling savoriness of your final dish. Here’s an example in the form of a comforting, fork-tender stew — and with a pressure cooker, it can be on the table in less than an hour.

Here’s what to gather to feed 4-6 people:

  • 5 pounds grass fed short ribs, cut into 3- to 4-inch segments
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ ounce porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon lard or fat of choice
  • 1 large onion, chopped medium
  • 3 carrots, chopped medium
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped medium
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (I like Rao’s marinara sauce)
  • ½ cup bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
Here’s how you make it:

Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper.

If you’d like, you can do this step the night before and store the seasoned ribs in the fridge. Salting early helps amplify the flavor.

Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl…

…and cover with boiling water until softened (15-30 minutes).

Take out your 8-quart or larger pressure cooker and melt the lard over medium high heat. Sear the ribs in batches until well-browned…

…and transfer them to a platter.

While the ribs are browning, chop up the veggies…

…and toss the onions, carrots and celery into the empty pot. Lower the heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and sauté the vegetables until softened. 

Fish out the softened mushrooms and squeeze out the liquid. You can reserve the mushroom water to use in place of broth, but I personally find it a little muddy tasting.

Coarsely chop up the mushrooms….

…and toss them in the pot along with the garlic. Stir the pot for another minute…

…and add in the marinara sauce, broth, and 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar.

Add the ribs back into the pot, mixing well.

Increase the heat to high and bring the stew to a boil. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid and let the contents come to high pressure.

Once the pot reaches high pressure, decrease the heat to low and maintain on high pressure for 30 minutes. Then, take the pot off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally (10-15 minutes).

When the pressure is released, add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and check for seasoning. You can eat the stew right away, but I think it tastes much better after the flavors have had a chance to meld overnight in the fridge. Plus, it’s easier to peel off the layer of fat when it’s hardened.

To reheat the stew, dump it in a pot, and bring to a boil. 

Simmer the stew for at least 20 minutes and top with minced parsley.

Try this recipe — I guarantee you’ll like it. There’s no need to be afraid of pressure cookers! 

Slow Cooker Korean Grass Fed Short Ribs

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Inspired by a recipe in Slow Cooker Revolution from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, I’ve made this Korean-style dish several times—and every time, it’s been easy-peasy and tasty. I simplified and Paleoized the recipe by subbing out the soy sauce with coconut aminos, the rice wine vinegar with coconut vinegar, and leaving out the tapioca. What’s cool about this recipe is that you don’t need to sear off any of the meat or carmelize any aromatics –- it’s pretty much a dump-it-in-and-forget-about-it kind of dish. That being said, when I do have the time I will char the short ribs under the broiler before throwing them in the slow cooker.

You may want to make this dish ahead of time and store it in your fridge because the short ribs release a ton of fat into the gravy, which you can easily remove when the chilled fat hardens.

Here’s what to gather to make enough tasty meat to feed 4-6 hungry adults:

  • 6 pounds of bone-in English-style grass-fed short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 hunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb, cut into two pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Here’s how top make it:

Preheat your broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heating element. Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper…

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…and lay the ribs, bone-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Whenever I season raw meat, I set aside a small ramekin with salt and ground pepper that I use only for the raw stuff. Cross contamination can lead to some bad crap. Literally.

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Broil the ribs for 5 minutes and then flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes.

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Stack the ribs in a single layer in the slow cooker. I lay them on their side to cram them all in the pot.

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Toss the pear, coconut aminos, garlic, scallions, ginger, fish sauce, and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth.

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Pour the sauce evenly over the ribs…

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…and add the chicken broth to the pot.

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Cover with the lid, set the slow cooker on low, and let the ribs stew for 9-11 hours.

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When it’s time to serve the ribs, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place them on a serving platter.

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Let the braising liquid settle for 5 minutes and then ladle off the fat if you wish. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and pour a cup of sauce over the ribs.

Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

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Super tender and very tasty. The simmer sauce is subtly sweet and the coconut aminos, while not as bold-tasting as soy sauce, lend a good umami flavor to the dish.

Day Two of Good Eats At My Sister’s Place

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It’s so nice visiting my sister. I know I’m sounding like a broken record but I feel so damned spoiled here. I just sit on my ass while my brother-in-law entertains my restless kids and my sister cooks me fabulous food.

For lunch, I chose to eat another helping of meatballs and slow-cooked broccoli.

I know this is the third time I’ve eaten them in 24 hours but they’re damn good.

Shortly after lunch, my sister hosted a small get-together at her home and she made a plethora of carb-y goodness (e.g. homemade char siu baos, sausage rolls, and cinnamon rolls). She also made sure to make a Paleo-friendly slow-cooked broccoli, ham, and cheddar frittata and a beautiful salad. Guess what I had two helpings of?

Dinner was something my sister happened to have ready in her freezer: braised short ribs with cavolo nero and carrots. She served it with roasted kabocha squash (my favorite winter squash in the whole wide world) and more yummy salad.

Life is good.