Balsamic beef just sounds good, doesn’t it? I thought so when I saw a recipe for it on Pinterest. Then I made it. It was okay but nothing memorable. Meh, I would say. Very meh.
So anyway, I decided to come up with my own recipe. I wanted something that was really different flavor-wise from my favorite beef stew. More specifically, here’s what I was going for:
1. A LOT of balsamic flavor, rich, syrupy and pleasantly sweet.
2. Fall-off-the-bone beef. Spoon tender, as I like to call it.
3. Mushrooms and onions to serve with the beef.
4. Deep, deep flavor, the kind you can only get from cooking beef with bones.
5. An easy recipe with a short ingredient list and minimal chopping involved.
After a few tries, I’m excited to share the finished recipe! And let me just warn you, it’s completely insane.
I hope you’ll try this one soon! You can cook it in your crockpot (4 hours on low) or in the oven (4 hours at 300 degrees). With either, just be sure to brown the beef before adding the other ingredients; this adds so much flavor, color and texture — definitely a step you don’t want to skip!
As far as serving, it goes really well with Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower, steamed broccoli, or roasted green beans. It also goes really well with nothing … meaning, the beef is so good on its own you may not even want side dishes :) Enjoy!
Slow-Cooked Balsamic Beef
Serves 4 – 6
2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in short ribs
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup balsamic glaze (I use Trader Joe’s but you could try another brand)
1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
1 (10 oz.) package sliced mushrooms (white or brown)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 dried bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Optional for serving: creamy blue cheese crumbles
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large dutch oven, brown the short ribs on each side. (To brown the beef, use a hot fire and don’t overcrowd the pan. You are going for a nice dark brown sear on each side.)
While the ribs are browning, in a medium bowl whisk together the red wine, balsamic glaze, whole grain mustard and brown sugar.
When the ribs are done browning, turn off the heat and pour the balsamic mixture over the beef. Add the sliced onion and mushrooms, garlic and bay leaf. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir a few times so that everything gets some balsamic mixture on it.
Cover the dutch oven with the lid. Cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 4 hours or until beef is very, very tender (it should fall right off the bone if you pull it with a fork). Let rest 10-15 minutes; season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles if you wish!