Have you ever had to create a new recipe (that needs to be made in the slow cooker) in less than 48 hours, test it (repeatedly), video yourself making it and then send off the recipe, video and professional pictures of it to a nationally syndicated television show? Yeah, me neither. Well, except that one time. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be part of a taping of the Doctor Oz show. While this wasn’t my first time on the show, it was the first time I’d be on my own, and cooking directly for Doctor Oz.
The challenge: create a healthy yet hearty slow cooker meal that busy working moms could make. We were told that we’d have to create the recipe on stage, and bring in the final product for Doctor Oz to taste during the show. My challenge was to make a new recipe with short ribs, while my segment buddy Adrea had to re-create a chicken casserole dish sans the unnecessary calories. It was a very stressful challenge, especially since I was battling morning sickness and fatigue. The producers decided to surprise us with one more detail once we got the the studio. Not only would Doctor Oz be tasting our dish, but a celebrity guest would be trying it out and JUDGING our recipes. Gasp. Gulp.
It wasn’t just any old celebrity chef, it was the one and only Alex Guarnaschelli from Food Network/Top Chef fame. Little known fact: Alex is one of 3 chefs that my husband and I will watch no matter what they are making on their shows. She makes food sound so…romantic. Needless to say, once I found out she would be eating my short ribs, I panicked. But it all turned out just fine. Well, I didn’t freeze on camera, so that’s what I call an accomplishment.
As for the complete Sweet and Spicy Short Ribs recipe? The result was a dish that everyone loved, even my kids and my parents. Check out this afternoon’s episode to see if Alex and the good Doctor liked them too!
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Short Ribs
Makes 6 servings
5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (or 4 pounds of boneless to cut down on calories)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar free apricot preserves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large piece of aluminum foil
1/2 cup chopped scallions, for garnish
In a medium bowl, mix together soy sauce, apricot preserves, red wine vinegar, sriracha, ginger and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Place the short ribs in a large zip top bag and pour your marinade mixture over the short ribs and rub into the meat. Place bag in a small casserole dish, and let sit in the fridge for 4 hours to overnight.
Optional: In a large sauté pan, place 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Lightly brown short ribs in the pan, about 6 to 8 at a time. If you are short on time, you can omit that step, but it does create a great crust on the short ribs. Either way, it will be delicious.
Crumble up your foil so it will fit in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place browned short ribs on top of the foil. The foil gives the short ribs a “lift” so the fat will fall away from it. Doctor Oz really liked this tip.
Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 11 to 12 hours, or on high for 7 to 8 hours.
Sprinkle with chopped scallions. Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa, and your favorite Asian vegetables.