For the Slow Cooker Short Ribs:
- 4 lbs short ribs, bone-in
- Kosher or coarse ground sea salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 & 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 6 tbsp chili garlic sauce
Make the Fried Wonton Chips:
- One 14-oz package Wonton Wrappers (*see note at the bottom of this recipe)
- About 2 cups vegetable oil.
- 3 or 4 red bell peppers
- 4 or 5 bunches of green onions (scallions)
- 3 or 4 bunches of cilantro
- Pickled jalapeños
- 24 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (sharp yellow cheddar works too)
Make the Slow Cooker Short Ribs:
- Lay the short ribs out on a paper towel and press another paper towel over them on all sides to absorb excess moisture. Sprinkle them generously on all sides with salt.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering and just under the smoking point.
- Working with 4 or 5 pieces at a time, place the short ribs in the hot oil. Let them cook in the hot oil without moving them for about 1 minute. Turn the pieces in the hot oil, allowing them to brown on all sides. Remover the short ribs from the saucepan and place in the bowl of a slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining short rib pieces.
- Add the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce to a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the short ribs in the slow cooker. Cook the short ribs until the meat is so tender it’s falling off the bone, about 5 hours on high or 7-8 on low. If possible, stir the meat in the sauce halfway through cooking.
- Use tongs to remove meat from the slow cooker to a plate or cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle.
- Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl; discard any solids left in the strainer. Let the sauce sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes than skim as much excess fat from the top of the liquid as possible, discarding the fat. *If possible, put the cooking liquid into the refrigerator, uncovered, for an hour or two (or, covered, for up to 2 days). This will allow the excess fat in the liquid to harden across the top of the liquid, making it very easy to remove.
- Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and set it over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until it’s reduced to about 1 & 1/2 cups.
- Meanwhile, pull the short rib meat from the bones and shred it into strips; discard bones and any pieces that are super fatty. Combine the shredded short rib meat with the sauce, stirring to coat the meat in the sauce.
*Refrigerate the meat and sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Put the meat and sauce back into the slow cooker about 1 hour before you plan to serve the nachos. Put the heat to low until the meat is heated through, then turn it down to warm. This will allow you to keep the meat warm for a couple of hours.
Make the Fried Wonton Chips:
- Cut the wonton wrappers in half, diagonally, into triangles. They will stick together slightly, so take a few minutes to separate them, spreading them out on your counter (it’s fine if they overlap). They cook quickly; separating them now will make it easier to quickly grab a few to put in the hot oil.
- Pour enough oil into a heavy bottom saucepan to come 1-2 inches up the side of the pan and set it over high heat. Heat the oil to 325 degrees. As you cook the chips, do your best to keep the oil between 325 and 340 degrees.
- Set a baking sheet that’s been covered with a double layer of paper towels nearby. Use metal tongs to lower a few chips – 4 or 5 – into the hot oil. As they cook, flip them over so that they brown evenly on all sides. Cook them just until they are golden, then use the tongs to lift them from the hot oil to drain on the paper towel lined baking sheet. They will cook very quickly, so watch carefully. Repeat with remaining wontons.
- Store wonton chips in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Prep the Nacho Fixings:
- Remove the stem and seeds from the bell peppers, dice, and put into a bowl.
- Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the green onion and put them into a separate bowl.
- Coarsely chop the cilantro and put it into a bowl.
- To serve: Pile the cheese and wonton chips into separate bowls and place next to the slow cooker containing the warm meat. Set the bowls of red peppers, green onions, and cilantro close by. Open the jar(s) of jalapeños and set out with small forks. Let each guest assemble their nachos – heating the plates of meat and cheese in the microwave or preheated oven for a minute or two to melt the cheese before adding the rest of the toppings.
- One 14-oz package of wonton wrappers will give you about 104 chips. This is enough for 12 people to have about 8 chips each. Scale up if you think you might want more.
- If you’re just making these for your family, not for a group of 12 people, consider making the entire recipe of short ribs and then cut the rest of the nacho ingredients in half. The short rib meat is crazy good and leftovers can be used to make Short Rib Pasta, Short Rib Rice and Veggie Bowls, or Short Rib Lasagna. The meat also freezes well (freeze it in some sauce) for up to 3 months.