slow cooker cranberry apple cider short ribs with brown butter mashed potatoes.

‘Tis the season for comfort food!

I mean, seriously, if you’re looking for some major comfort food, these slow cooker cranberry apple cider short ribs with brown butter mashed potatoes are just the thing. I mean, we’re talking about one heck of a fabulous dinner.

Like the perfect cozy Sunday night dinner. The perfect holiday entertainment dinner. The perfect Christmas Eve dinner. It’s that good.

I’ve only ever had short ribs once before. My mom had purchased a William Sanoma cookbook and there was a recipe for short ribs with a creamy polenta that we tested out. It was divine. So, when I decided to do the twelve days of Christmas this year, the first meal that came to my mind involved short ribs. With seasonal flavors. Like apple cider. And cranberries. Leaving a subtle sweetness in this fall apart, melt in your mouth dish.

But let’s talk about those mashed potatoes for a minute. Oh, my goshhh. They are incredible.

Brown butter isn’t a new ingredient for me. I used it a few years ago when I made my brown butter and rosemary mashed sweet potatoes and again when I made my brown butter white chocolate macadamia cookies. I also use it in the shortbread base of my pecan pie bars. But I never thought to put it into my mashed potatoes. And for the life of me, I have no idea why not. Because it’s so freaking fantastic. The nuttiness from the amber colored butter just adds a whole other flavor profile to a simple mash that is out of this world.

I’m not sure I can make mashed potatoes another way ever again.

So, on the first day of Christmas I’m sharing with you:


Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider Short Ribs with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

serves 6

for the short ribs:

  • 5 lb bone-in beef short ribs
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 c apple cider
  • 2 c low sodium beef broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 c fresh cranberries

for the brown butter mashed potatoes:

  • 2 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4-5 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the short ribs and sear on both sides. Remove the ribs and transfer to the slow cooker.

To the slow cooker, add the onions, apple cider, beef broth, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. During the last two hours of cooking, add the cranberries.

When there’s about 30 minutes left to your short ribs, begin the mashed potatoes. In a large stockpot, bring the potatoes, 3 tsp of salt, and enough water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

While the potatoes are boiling, in a small pan cook the butter over medium heat, swirling it around occasionally, until it turns a medium brown color and has a nutty aroma (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes, the brown butter, cream, pepper, and the remaining 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt (depending on taste) until smooth.

Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Serve the ribs over a bed of brown butter mashed potatoes. Drizzle with the pan sauce. Enjoy!

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