Beef Short Ribs with Carrots, Peppers, and Tomatoes

Beef Short Ribs with Carrots, Peppers, and Tomatoes (Serves 3-4)

My wife was working until 9 PM the other night. I called her office and asked her receptionist to let her know that I had Beef Short Ribs with Carrots, Peppers, and Tomatoes freshly cooked. Later, I was not sure what made her most happy – that she came home to a rich dish of beef short ribs or that everyone she worked with was jealous that her husband had been at home cooking.

Beef short ribs are meaty, flavorful, and tough. One approach to the toughness is to marinate short ribs overnight and another is to cook them slowly in braising liquid. However, pressure cooking makes meat tender in minutes. I cooked these with onions, green bell pepper, and fire-roasted tomatoes flavored with green chilies for 20 minutes and then added a pound of carrots and some mushrooms to the mix and cooked them another 5 minutes.

Prep and cook time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredient list:

2 pounds of beef short ribs
1 pound of baby carrots
8-ounces of mushrooms
1 sweet yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes with medium green chilies (Muir Glen Fire-roasted Tomatoes are fabulous)
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Dried oregano
Ground cumin
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Salt

Directions: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Season all sides of ribs with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Arrange ribs in pot and brown first side 4 minutes. Turn ribs and brown second side 4 minutes. Remove to a plate. Chop onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Add onion and bell pepper to pot and let cook until soft. Add a generous splash or two of balsamic vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return ribs to pot. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and one cup of water. Add a dusting of oregano. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, bring pressure down quickly with the fast-release method, and remove top. Add mushrooms and carrots. Add salt, garlic powder, and ground cumin to taste. I like a nice dusting of each. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, and remove top. Use tongs to transfer ribs to plates. Use a slotted spoon or ladle to transfer vegetables to plates. Enjoy!

Notes: My wife is not much of a vegetable-eater, so the short ribs disappeared quickly and left me with extra veggies. I used them to create more great meals by adding bite-sized pieces of Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage from Coleman Natural to a bowl, covering the sausage with veggies, and microwaving it all for 5 minutes. Whole Foods Market features an entire section of pre-packaged chicken sausages that I am still sampling my way through. So far I have two favorites – Spicy Italian and Mild Italian with Peppers and Onions.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com. After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. I’m glad I did. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three! I have not purchased a second one yet, but could use one to prepare vegetables separately while longer cooking meat dishes are in their final minutes.

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