In this slow cooker version of the classic pot roast, Mississippi Boneless Short Ribs are made without processed, packaged mixes and the stick of butter. However, they're just as flavorful and with buttery tenderness! Mashed turnips or potatoes are perfect on the side!
Although I've lived in the Mid-South for over 25 years ago, I had not heard of a Mississippi pot roast until a year ago or so when I saw it on another food blogger's website. The pepperoncini in the roast recipe intrigued me because I love anything pickled.
What I didn't love were all the processed packaged mixes I saw in the recipe because I try to keep my usage of these items to a minimum. The original also calls for a stick of butter!!
Then, a personal chef client of mine asked me to make it. I made it according to the classic recipe but I found the saltiness overwhelming so I came up with a less "processed" version of this classic pot roast wherein beef wasn't smothered with salty packaged mixes.
Here it is! The famous Mississippi pot roast is done as Mississippi Boneless Short Ribs--Without Packaged Mixes, a stick of butter but with all the flavor!
Origin of Mississippi Pot Roast:
Mississippi Pot Roast was created by a home cook from Ripley, Mississippi in the early 2000s. She set out to recreate a chuck roast recipe her aunt made. Her family raved about her version which led to it being published in a church cookbook. That was followed by someone doing a blog post and the rest is history. It then apparently caught fire all over the internet.
How to Make Mississippi Boneless Short Ribs:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this Mississippi Boneless Short Ribs recipe along with how to prep the ingredients. See the full recipe at From A Chef's Kitchen for the exact quantities.
Plus the beef:
- Ranch Dressing Mix Substitutes: Because fresh is always better (instead of packaged ranch dressing mix which typically has dried onion, garlic, dill and parsley) I use FRESH:
- Parsley (added at the end)
- I didn't see the need to add dill as the amount in a package of ranch dressing mix is so small and dill in this recipe just seemed wrong.
- Packaged Gravy Mix Substitutes: Instead of packaged gravy mix, I use:
- Beef broth
- Soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- The soy sauce and Worcestershire will give you the depth and saltiness of the packaged gravy mix.
- Pepperoncini and Cherry Peppers: Some of these little pickled peppers can be quite hot so select according to your tolerance.
- The Beef: Instead of a chuck roast which is traditional, I used boneless beef short ribs here. I love them more than a chuck roast because all the connective tissue is more evenly distributed throughout boneless short ribs. That connective tissue is going to melt away and produce a beautiful fall-apart result. Boneless short ribs are cut from the chuck and are rib meat separated from the bone. A butcher can cut them for you. If you can't find boneless short ribs, by all means use a chuck roast or short ribs on the bone.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- Season the short ribs with salt if desired (remember many of the ingredients are salty) and with black pepper and brown the short ribs in batches in a skillet with a little oil. (I wait until the dish is finished to add salt. The Worcestershire and soy sauce will add a fair amount of saltiness.)
- When you've finished browning the short ribs, toss in the onions and cook briefly just to take the raw edge off.
- Combine everything, including the pepperoncini and cherry peppers in a 6-8 quart slow cooker.
- Cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low then thicken the gravy.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning of the ribs with salt and pepper if desired.
How To Thicken Sauces in a Slow Cooker:
There are three ways to thicken sauces in a slow cooker:
With all-purpose flour:
- This can be done right in the slow cooker. This method works best if you've cooked the ribs on high because you'll have a good simmer going on. One disadvantage is that your sauce will be lighter in color.
- When there are about 45 minutes to go, remove 1 cup of the braising liquid. Let it cool for 15 minutes and mix in 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and whisk until smooth.
- Add it to the slow cooker in 1-2 tablespoon increments around the meat in various places, stirring well until it's incorporated. Don't just drop the whole thing in at once.
- Continue cooking uncovered on high for approximately 30 minutes until the gravy thickens. Then, cover and let it sit for a while; it will continue to thicken as it stands.
With cornstarch (also gluten-free):
- If you've cooked the ribs on low, you're better off using cornstarch as opposed to flour because getting the slow cooker up to a higher simmer will take a while. Cornstarch needs higher heat to thicken. An advantage of using cornstarch is that it doesn't change the color of your gravy. A disadvantage is your gravy will be gelatinous when cooled.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a platter then tent to keep it warm.
- Transfer the liquid to a saucepan. You'll have approximately 4 cups of gravy/sauce and will need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of liquid.
- Remove 1-2 tablespoons of the gravy/sauce to a small bowl, add an equal amount of cold water, then stir in the cornstarch.
- Add it to the gravy/sauce in the saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until it thickens then pour the mixture over the beef on the platter.
- Sprinkle on the parsley... and friends!
Delicious, slightly spicy, meaty goodness you'll love to serve family and friends!
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