Cooking is my happy place. My job can be pretty stressful at times, and spending a few hours preparing a lovely meal for my significant other and I really calms me down. Recently I was promoted at work, which has reduced the amount of time I have to play in the kitchen. And thus, the slow cooker comes to the rescue. For me, the beer and chicken stock are a nice departure from the usual red wine/beef broth preparation.
To avoid slow cooker blandness and mushiness, always sear the meat and saute the veggies in a cast iron skillet before crocking. If you are militantly anti slow cooker, no worries. Just braise the ribs in a dutch oven at 300 degrees for about four hours.
—zest in the midwest
Season the short ribs very liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet until you see the slightest wisps of smoke coming off the pan. Sear the ribs on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to sear the meat in batches. Once the meat is nicely browned on both sides, transfer to crock pot.
Add the vegetables to the skillet, scraping up all of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan as you go. Saute the vegetables for about five minutes. They won't be soft, but they will be browned in some spots and have picked up the oil and brown bits from the beef. Transfer vegetables to crock pot.
Add the beer, stock and remaining ingredients to crock pot. Stir gently to roughly incorporate seasonings. Heat on low for about 8 hours.
Remove ribs and set aside - the meat should fall off the bone. Strain juices and skim fat (or use a gravy separator. Heat skimmed gravy in pan until reduced by half. Stir in apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with mashed potatoes (the naughty kind with tons of butter and cream) or egg noodles.