Chef Dad Makes Slow Cooker Ribs - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Chef Dad Makes Slow Cooker Ribs

I have a con­fes­sion to make — I have never used a slow cooker. I know. I know. Yours truly has played with every gad­get out there, but eight hours to cook some­thing? I thought tech­nol­ogy was to help us save time. So after some navel gaz­ing, I real­ized that it wasn’t ego that halted my slow cook­ery, but fear. What if I mess it up? Will the blogs be ablaze with the brais­ing buf­foon­ery of Chef Dad? Oh dear.

So I took the plunge. I asked my neigh­bour Lars if I could bor­row his “Baby Bent­ley”, as he calls it, and all my fears were allayed once I pulled out the spot-on beef ribs. (I should men­tion that I was watch­ing the clock a lit­tle too often!)

I was impressed with the ten­der­ness of the beef and the veg­eta­bles, still hold­ing their shape. My son Yusef enjoyed the sec­ondary use of the beef – left­overs were shred­ded and put into que­sadil­las. Now that was some­thing he could dive into it (doc­u­mented by how much sour cream we go through!)

With this new look on life, I will now tackle other tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs such as fab­ric soft­ener, liq­uid paper and the flash­light. In fact, I finally took the plunge and joined the world of Twit­ter. You can fol­low me @ChefPaulSilva.

Five-Spiced Braised Bone­less Beef Ribs

3 lbs bone­less beef ribs, halved length­wise (to fit slow cooker)
2 tbsp veg­etable oil1 tbsp paprika
salt and pep­per to taste2 pieces of star anise,whole
1/2 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds, whole
1 tea­spoon black pep­per­corns, whole
8 cloves, whole
1 cin­na­mon stick, whole
cheese­cloth and string
2 car­rots, peeled and cut large dice
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut large dice
1 red pep­per, cored and cut large dice
2 large onions, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 rutabaga, peeled and cut large dice
6–9 crem­ini mush­rooms, cut into quar­ters
3 cloves gar­lic, minced
750 ml beef stock
450 ml apple juice
2 table­spoon soy sauce


Sea­son the bone­less beef ribs with salt, pep­per and paprika. Over medium-high heat, sear the beef in veg­etable oil until meat is browned, both sides. Remove from heat and reserve.

In a dry pan, toast the star anise, fen­nel seed, black pep­per­corns, cloves and cin­na­mon over medium-high heat until the spices start to darken a lit­tle bit and they start to release their aro­mas. Remove imme­di­ately from heat and place in a small bowl to cool (don’t leave them in the pan, as they might burn.)

Once cooled, place the spices in a small (5" x 5") square of cheese­cloth and tie into a bun­dle with string (you can also leave the spices whole, but they might be tricky to remove them later — it's your call! Mak­ing the pack­age might be some­thing fun to do with the wee ones.)

Place the beef, veg­eta­bles, spice bag, beef stock, apple juice and soy sauce in slow cooker. Cook on "low" set­ting for 6 1/2 hours, or until beef is ten­der, but not falling apart at the touch.

Remove spice bag and skim the fat from the liq­uid with a large spoon or ladle. Slice beef (care­ful!) and serve with veg­eta­bles, liq­uid and some crusty bread for dunking.

Keep left­overs in liq­uid to keep from dry­ing out.

Tip o’ the day: While those spices look great in the glass jars revolv­ing rack sit­ting near the win­dow, the best way to extend your spices’ shelf life is to keep them in a dry, cool and dark spot. For­get the Costco-sized skid of ground nut­meg (no mat­ter how cheap it is!) – pur­chase spices in small amounts, prefer­ably whole, and dis­card any unused spices after six months. You’ll be amazed at the dif­fer­ence it will make in your dishes!


One Comment

  1. Rosie says:

    Great pic­tures and the ribs look amaz­ing! Thanks chef Dad.

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