Food & Drink

Short ribs in the crock pot make an easy, decadent fall meal

Short ribs in the slow cooker are an easy winter meal.
Short ribs in the slow cooker are an easy winter meal. Jaime Green

Crocktober is coming to an end, but not without one more super simple recipe that you will enjoy and hopefully make numerous times.

This week’s is so easy, a 5-year-old could put it together (with a bit of guidance and with an adult cutting the onion.) Savory short ribs are on the menu, and their decadently rich beefy flavor make them an all-time favorite.

I’m pretty sure I lived in Denver when I first tasted short ribs. I cannot remember where I was because I traveled so much those days for work. I honestly spent most of my time in the Bay Area, not Denver, but I didn’t complain. Working for Niman Ranch was a dream come true for someone who loves great food, and the exposure to incredible restaurants and famous chefs was an experience I’ll never forget.

Back when I wrote my blog, I wrote this recipe because I wanted something simple and delicious for dinner. This recipe’s been around about 10 years, and a few friends make it regularly, too. In fact, it appeared in this newspaper in 2008 when Joe Stumpe wrote an article about me. That article was printed about a year before I started teaching cooking classes.

Let’s talk crockpots. I failed to mention that I have a pretty large one. Last week’s recipe wouldn’t fit in a standard round crock if you made the whole recipe. Quite a few years back, my birthday gift request was this All-Clad Slow Cooker that happens to have 7-quart volume and the option to use the insert for sauteeing or browning on the stovetop. Randy kicked and screamed and said he’d be the laughing stock of husbands. I finally convinced him he could either buy that slow cooker or have an unhappy wife on her birthday. You see, he was afraid of what people would think if he bought be a slow cooker for my birthday. I guess he thought it was equal to the time I asked for a Dyson vacuum for Christmas. I’m still waiting on that Dyson, but I did get my All-Clad Slow Cooker. I use it about once a week in the fall and winter.

An enthusiastic reader sent me an article via e-mail from People magazine, of all sources, about slow cookers. Who knew they reviewed such things? They recommended several of them: Bella 5-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker you can find on Amazon for $23.99 and a Cuisinart 6 ½-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker you can find on Amazon for $93.95. People magazine also recommended the model I have, and I know you can purchase it locally at Williams Sonoma for $299.95, however they do run it on sale from time to time. For the whole People review on slow cookers, visit

I cannot tell you what November’s theme will be, but I’ll take suggestions via email. I realize the holidays are coming sooner than later, and I know I’ve already been brainstorming. I’m teaching pie class this weekend to 16 people in two different classes, but they sold out in record time. Pie class is one of my favorite holiday traditions because so many people don’t know how to make a pie. Until next week, keep that slow cooker simmering with your favorite recipes.

Adriene Rathbun is an enthusiastic Wichita cook who offers cooking classes through her business, Social. Reach her at or

Savory Short Ribs

8 bone-in beef short ribs

1 onion, cut into wedges

2 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons garlic pepper salt

¼ cup whole-grain mustard

1 ¼ cups water (or ½ inch in the bottom of slow cooker)

Place short ribs in the crock of the slow cooker bone side down. Add onion wedges around the short ribs and pour lemon juice over. Add water. Sprinkle with garlic pepper salt, and spread ½ tablespoon mustard on each short rib. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.