A couple of weeks ago I made short ribs in the crock pot. Short ribs, though neither particularly short nor rib-like (DISCUSS), are super cheap and totally delicious, but you really do have to slow-cook them, because they have lots of interwoven fatty bits that need to be rendered off. If you don't have a crock pot you should go buy one immediately; it is an essential item. They're like $30 at Target or wherever and they make the best food! You know those annoying people who, when you compliment their food, are like "Oh, I just threw a bunch of stuff together"? Crock pots let you be those people! You are literally about to throw a bunch of stuff together, and it's going to be amazing.
Remember, this has to cook for 8-10 hours, so get it started in the morning, or at least by noon or 1pm. It's a nice Sunday thing to do.
1. Chop up some hardy vegetables. I like to start with a classic mirepoix, which is my favorite way of saying onions, carrots, and celery. You could also add a parsnip or some mushrooms, but stay away from things like zucchini and broccoli; they'll just disintegrate. Throw them in the crock pot, toss with kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Lay a rosemary sprig on top if you have one.
Pretty, but not for long.
2. Put some oil in a skillet, and turn the heat to high. Salt and pepper the short ribs, and brown them on two sides. You're not cooking the short ribs, just sealing in all the flavor! Just a couple of minutes per side, so they look like this:
3. Put the short ribs on top of the veggies in the crock pot. Now here's the fun part! Open up every cabinet in your kitchen, and add whatever flavorings strike your fancy. At least one should be sort of juicy. For example, I put in maybe half a large can of whole tomatoes (but I chopped the tomatoes a bit), and probably around a third of a cup of barbeque sauce (sweet style, like Jack Daniels, is best). You should also add some sort of alcohol. Red wine is very common, but we were out, so I used bourbon instead. I found it to be a fine substitute.
4. Cover the crock pot and turn it to low. That's it! You're done, you can go enjoy your day. It's best if you leave the house because in a few hours it's going to start to smell amazing, and you're going to want to open the lid to get closer to the smells, and you're also going to want to poke and prod and stir, but you mustn't!! Every time you open a cooking crock pot you need to add 20 min onto your cook time, so just leave it!
5. When at least 8 hours have gone by, cook up your grits according to the package directions, but cook them in milk instead of water. When they're just about done, stir in some butter, and shred as much extra-sharp cheddar cheese (white) as you would like (you would like a lot) into the pot. Salt and pepper, bien sur!
6. Spoon the grits onto your plate, and top with the short ribs and veggies. The veggies will be less identifiable as such, but they're in there, I swear! The short ribs will have cooked way down, and should now be super tender and falling apart-like.
7. You've been waiting all day! Dig in already!