Making this slow cooker short ribs recipe is so incredibly easy and delicious! This cooking method gives fall-off-the-bone and flavorful results every time.
Beef braised ribs are a fabulous item to serve at any dinnertime meal but thanks to your slow cooker they’re very simple and easy to make, allowing you the best results without any hassle. This recipe for slow cooker short ribs is so easy to make that they are practically fool-proof (meaning that they are impossible to mess up).
Why you’ll love this recipe for Short Ribs Crock Pot goodness
- It’s fancy and comforting. You can serve this up as a tasty home-cooked meal to your family or serve them up for when you have company coming over as a way to show off your cooking skills. They don’t need to know that all you did was wait a few hours for the crockpot to do its magic.
- Minimal prep work is needed. There are very few hands-on steps for this recipe as most of the “work” is simply waiting for the crockpot to finish cooking the ribs. While your patience might run thin while waiting, you can rest assured that your home is going to smell incredible.
- Simple ingredients. This recipe uses very simple and basic ingredients, many of which you may have on hand right now or find easily in your local grocery store.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- Olive oil
- Beef short ribs
- Black pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Tomato paste
- Balsamic vinegar
- Beef broth
- Red wine *optional
- Bay leaves
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to make Crockpot Short Ribs
- Liberally rub salt and pepper over the short ribs to season them.
- Heat a skillet to high heat and sear the sides of the short ribs to brown the outsides. Set them aside.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker and stir well to combine.
- Nestle your seared short ribs into the slow cooker so that they are mostly covered in liquid.
- If any juices from the ribs accumulated on the plate while they were waiting, pour it into the crockpot.
- Add in more beef broth if needed.
- Cook on low heat for 8 hours or on high heat for up to 4 hours. When finished, the beef should easily fall off of the bone.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta, or grits.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and parsley.
How do you know when short ribs are done?
Short ribs are done when they fall easily off the bone.
Tips for Short Ribs in Crock Pot
- For this bone-in beef short ribs slow cooker recipe, you will want to use a crockpot or slow cooker that is about 6 quarts.
- Since this is a braising recipe, there is quite a bit of liquid that you will be adding to the slow cooker in addition to the short ribs and vegetables.
- As the short ribs cook in the slow cooker, the meat will shrink up around the bone, leaving it partially exposed. This is normal and I think it makes for a great-looking plate at the end of the day! Don’t stress though, the bones will fall right out because the meat is so tender.
What to look for when buying Short Ribs
Short ribs aren’t super pricey, but they are more expensive than ground beef or another cheap cut, so I wanted to be sure you’d be able to get the recipe right the first time.
When purchasing beef short ribs, look for individually cut ribs with the bone still in. If the ribs are all connected, those aren’t short ribs. If there isn’t a bone in the ribs, those are also not what you want to purchase. Short ribs can vary in size, so the exact amount you use in this braised beef short rib recipe can also vary.
Crock Pot Short Ribs Serving Suggestions
Crock pot short ribs taste amazing served with mashed potatoes, polenta, grits, or buttered noodles.
How to store Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Slow cooker short ribs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Short Ribs Crock Pot FAQ
I do have a sear step at the beginning of this slow cooker short ribs recipe. While this isn’t 100% necessary to a great-tasting dish, I do love the added crust and flavor the searing gives the short ribs. Remember, the idea of a sear step isn’t to cook the meat.
In fact, the faster you can get the sear on the meat the better. It’s simply a way to add more flavor to the dish. If you do decide to skip the searing step, just don’t forget to add salt and pepper to the slow cooker when you place the short ribs in the slow cooker.
Yes, the short ribs should be mostly submerged in the slow cooker
Yes, short ribs will get more tender as the cook low and slow.
Yes, you can cook short ribs too long but you would have to cook them for over 8 hours for that to happen. If they are cooked too long they will be dry and gummy.
Short ribs are a rough cut of meat. In order for them to be tender, they need a longer cooking time on low heat. If they are tough, they were cooked too quickly or not long enough.
If your shortribs are not falling off the bone and don’t shred easily with a fork, they aren’t done cooking.
While short ribs and beef ribs are both made of beef, short ribs differ from a traditional rack of ribs because of where on the animal they come from. Short ribs come from the lower portion of the ribcage near the front of the animal. Back ribs come from the upper back rib portion of the animal.
The quickest way to tenderize ribs would be to cook them in the instant pot or pressure cooker. I haven’t tested this recipe in either so I don’t recommend trying it unless you are very experienced.
More favorites from Longbourn Farm
Recipe for Short Ribs Crock Pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 beef short ribs see note
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 ounces tomato paste 1 small can
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine or beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- Season short ribs liberally with salt and pepper.
- Sear over high heat in a skillet to brown the outsides. Set aside.
- Add remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Nestle short ribs into the liquid mixture in the slow cooker so that they are mostly covered in liquid. Pour in any accumulated juices from the short ribs.
- Add more beef broth if necessary.
- Cook on low for up to 8 hours, or high up to 4 hours. When done, the beef should easily fall off the bone.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta, or grits. Garnish with fresh thyme and parsley.