Monday, March 29, 2010

RECIPE: Slow-Cooked Short Ribs and Blueberry Dump Cake

Yesterday I wanted to make a good meal (since I'm down to really only cooking on the weekends), but I didn't want to spend hours in the kitchen. So I thought, "This is the time for the slow cooker!" I used trusty Google to find a good slow-cooker recipe, as well as a good easy dessert.

First I settled on a recipe for Smoke House Short Ribs from the Food Network.

Smoke House Short RibsRecipe courtesy of Sandra Lee via the Food Network


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 8 short ribs

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large onion, thickly sliced

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag baby carrots

  • 1 cup celery, thickly sliced, about 2 stalks

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons smoked ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning salt

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can beef stock


  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat.
  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper.

  • Sear the short ribs on all sides until brown and caramelized.

  • In the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker, place the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Then add the smoked paprika, smoked black pepper and all-purpose seasoning salt. (NOTE: I couldn't find smoked black pepper. So I wound up using regular paprika and black pepper, but adding a little Liquid Smoke for a smoky flavor. I probably only added 1-2 tsp, and couldn't really detect the smokiness. So you could probably start with at least a tablespoon, and possible quite a bit more.)
  • Pour in the wine and beef stock.
  • Place the short ribs, meat side up, on top of the vegetables.

  • Cover and cook on LOW setting for 8 hours. (NOTE: I didn't have that much time, so I actually cooked it on HIGH for about 3 hours.) It will start bubbling, and the meat will brown further.

  • The ribs are ready when they are falling-off-the-bone tender.

Mmmmm good! And you have tons of sauce that you can serve over the meat and veggies. You can try to strain off any fat. Me? I leave it in initially, but remove it from the leftovers that solidify after they cool in the frig overnight. Look at all of the leftovers! And any of the leftovers can be turned into a great beef soup or stew!

For dessert I decided to try a Blueberry Dump Cake recipe, as I had a can of blueberry pie filling sitting in the pantry to use.

Blueberry Dump Cake


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Mix berries, sugar, and cinnamon in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. (NOTE: I was using blueberry pie filling instead of fresh berries. So I just poured the pie filling into a small square pan instead, and omitted the sugar and cinnamon from here.)
  • Cover berries with dry cake mix. Pour butter over cake mix, do not stir. (NOTE: Instead of using melted butter, I used softened butter and mixed it into the cake batter using the food processor. I included the sugar and cinnamon here. I processed until I had a crumbly mixture. I hoped that this would give me a more consistent topping. I also tossed in about a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.)

  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until light brown. Serve warm or cold. Top with ice cream or whipped cream.

Yum! Woodrow said that this reminded him of when he was a kid and would go to the Pewter Pot for a blueberry muffin served in a bowl topped with ice cream. I prefer whipped cream!

Two very easy dishes that are very tasty!