Tonight I adapted Jessica Merchant’s Slow Cooker Short Rib Sauce with Bucatini. The result was a delicious and nuanced hit with my family. My fiance described it as having three phases of flavor. At first you taste the delicious tomato flavor, and then you become aware that it has some sweetness to it, followed by a nice kick of spice at the end.
Altogether we spent $38.66 in groceries for dinner, but we have TONS leftover and we will be enjoying it again tomorrow night. SCORE!
- 8 beef short ribs ($18.47)
- 1 chopped onion ($0)
- raw unsalted cashews ($1.23)
- 12 oz chopped mushrooms ($2.23)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced ($0)
- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes ($0.99)
- 28 oz tomato sauce ($1.98)
- 1/2 can of tomato paste ($0.40)
- 1 cup of beef stock ($0)
- 1 cup of red wine ($2.99)
- honey ($0)
- 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese ($5.98)
- 2 spaghetti squash ($4.39)
I first browned the short ribs on all sides in some duck fat on very high heat. In the future I would salt and pepper them first. Then I added them and any drippings to the slow cooker, followed by the onion, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, paste, and sauce, the beef stock, red wine, and some thyme and oregano.
I set the slow cooker to low for 8 hours, and about 4 hours in I put the cashews and a few scoops of sauce into the blender and pureed. The cashews were to help thicken the sauce. In the future I would like to try tapioca flour in comparison, but the cashews added a nice texture.
In the last couple of hours of cooking, I stabbed my spaghetti squashes a few times and tossed them in the oven at 350° for an hour. When the timer finishes, I usually cut them in half and put them in a covered dish with some water and microwave them for another 30 minutes.
When the slow cooker reached 8 hours, I stripped the meat from the ribs and chopped it up, throwing it back into the slow cooker with a generous helping of honey, some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and the parmesan cheese.
After dinner I took the lid off and cooked the sauce on high until bedtime and it became much thicker and more delicious. I think I may incorporate this information next time and try to reduce my sauce more. Maybe I will try this recipe on the stove top.