Count Me Impressed.

Lots of preparation can make things go smoothly.

I live that statement. In my professional life, my job is all about preparation. In my cooking, I will take my time and often do all of my prep work and measuring before I even start to cook.

As of this writing (actual posting will be much later), I just dropped off my eldest son to college. He, unlike some sophomores, decided to live another year in the residence halls. The Ranting Wife and I were pleased, as we both believe that you stay better connected to the university that way.

Ohio State’s move-in day involves moving in almost 10,000 students into several dozen buildings, mostly all on the same day. When he went there for his first year, I was skeptical that it would go smoothly. The Ranting Wife has worked many years for a university and also brought a very skeptical eye. We were shocked….pleasantly shocked, at how well it went.

This shows the preparation:

  • Students signed in for a move-in time. Each hall segregated their number of students across the time windows so not everyone was at a single hall at once.
  • Everyone went first to the basketball arena. There was plenty of parking (and plenty of workers directing the parking situation).
  • There was one line that moved very rapidly into the arena and there students activated their ID and then went down onto the playing floor.
  • Around the edge of the floor were tables for each residence hall. The larger halls had several lines (based on the first letter of the last name). Here the students picked up their key, parking tag and tag for their stuff. All of this was pre-printed and ready for the individual. Note the organization to prepare for just this step alone.
  • Students then went up the back steps to the athletic ticket office to pick up their football tickets if they ordered them (and let’s get real, if you go to Ohio State you very likely got them).
  • Then back in the car and follow the signs to your hall. Each grouping of halls had their own color so the color of your parking tag matched the signs you followed.
  • You then pull the car into the staging area where more volunteers verify you are in the right place. Then a group of cars is allowed to proceed to the driveway that services the specific hall.
  • Helpers unload your car into big carts and take the carts to the rooms. The driver never leaves the car. Once unloaded, the car moves to another lot where the passengers can then go up and spend time in the room.

The thousands of hours of prep work allows the process to go extremely smoothly. Count me impressed.

Braised Short Ribs with Smoked Ham Hocks

Photo Apr 12, 5 35 39 PM - Featured Size

This dish doesn’t take much prep work or much attention as it uses the slow cooker.

Photo Apr 12, 3 36 44 PM

Short ribs and ham hocks. What’s not to love?

Photo Apr 12, 3 49 14 PM

In the slow cooker.

Photo Apr 12, 5 25 33 PM

Ready to cook.

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Pull it all out and dice the ham hock.

Photo Apr 12, 5 35 30 PM


Braised Short Ribs with Smoked Ham Hocks

cook 1 hour, 40 minutes ∙ makes 2 ∙ source


  • 2 pounds meaty grass-fed short ribs (about 6 – 8 bones total)
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 1/2 C red wine (whatever you like to drink, or anything full-bodied, but not too sweet)
  • 1 C beef broth, preferably home-made
  • 1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 T grass-fed butter
  • sea salt
  • black pepper


Preheat your oven to 350

In a Dutch oven or heavy oven safe pot with lid, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
Liberally salt and pepper the short ribs and add them to the pot, searing on both sides.
Add the wine, broth and rosemary and bring to a simmer.
Add the ham hock.
Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven.
Allow to braise for 1 1/2 hours, then carefully remove from the oven.
Remove the short ribs and ham hock from the pot and set aside.
Reduce the braising liquid until it is roughly 1 C by simmering over medium heat. The amount of time this will take will depend on how much liquid evaporated while cooking.
Shred the meat from the ham hock and discard the bone and skin.
Plate the short ribs on top of the cauliflower mash, if serving, and top that with shredded ham hock and sauce

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef 2, Low Carb, Main Dish 3, Pork2, Recipes, Slow Cooker, Wine

Author:The Ranting Chef

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5 Comments on “Count Me Impressed.”

  1. January 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    Organization can make or break a chef. Being a totally unorganized person, I knew I could never be a really good chef. A good cook, yes, but not a true chef. I think it is important to make our young aspiring chefs aware of the necessity to learn how to organize and stay organized, so I thank you for bringing this topic up. Hope your college son has much success!


  2. Kate Gross
    January 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    So I may never eat a hamhock, I am once again impressed by the OSU! Hopefully we’ll have a Buckeye too!


  3. lorieb
    January 10, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    count me impressed too, wish I could be so organized. I tend to “fly by the seat of my pants” especially when cooking LOL


  4. January 12, 2015 at 2:05 am #

    Love beef ribs and what a pairing with ham hock!


  5. DIY Just Cuz Team
    January 17, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    Yum, that looks great! It looks a bit daunting but you make it seem easy haha


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