The first time I tried making this Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs recipe, I was hooked. My family fell in love with these fall off the bone and melt-in-your-mouth tender rib recipe!
Flavor-packed beef ribs in a rich red wine sauce make a super easy family dinner recipe. It is perfect for an easy weeknight meal and even Sunday supper!
Easy dinner ideas like this short ribs slow-cooked beef recipe are perfect for nights when you need easy comfort food. They also fit the bill for a simple meal you can set and forget about until it’s time to serve.
What are short ribs?
Beef chuck short ribs are the absolute best cut of beef for slow cooking! They are situated under the front section of the backbone.
Because the beef is marbled, a couple of hours of slow cooking results in incredible juicy tenderness.
There are two primary cuts of beef short ribs:
- Flanken short ribs, where the bones are cut into short 1-2 inch lengths. Sometimes, a few cross-sections of ribs are left in a strip, or they are in separate chunks, like this recipe.
- English-style, where larger pieces of bone are left in and the meat is cut parallel to the bone.
Should I use bone-in short ribs or boneless short ribs for slow cooker short ribs?
We love using bone-in beef short ribs in the slow cooker but boneless beef short ribs also work really well in this recipe.
Why not try both and see which kind of short rib your family prefers?
Crockpot Short Ribs Recipe Ingredients
For this easy beef short ribs crockpot recipe, you will need only a few simple ingredients. You can use boneless short ribs or bone-in short ribs.
- 2.5 lb beef chuck short ribs
- 1/4 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 onion
- 8 ribs of celery or one celery stalk
- 3 medium-size carrot
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, or other flavorless oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or finely diced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
How to Cook Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker
Braising short ribs intensifies their beautiful mahogany color, and brings out their wonderful flavor. Follow these simple steps to make this beef ribs in crockpot recipe:
- Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper.
- Dice the onion, carrot,s, and celery.
- Heat some oil in a large skillet and sear the ribs on all sides. Sear in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
- After searing, remove the ribs from the skillet and add to the crockpot.
- Put the onion, carrots, and celery in the skillet and cook a couple of minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic, then, after a minute, add the wine and deglaze the pan.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, broth, thyme, and bay leaves and bring it to a simmer.
- Pour the sauce over the short ribs, cover and turn on low for 6-8 hours.
If you don’t already have a slow cooker, here are two we always recommend- plus a multi-use instant pot you can use for slow cooking!
Do I have to sear the slow cooker short ribs in a skillet first?
Our slow cooker short ribs recipe requires searing the meat before adding to the slow cooker in order to build flavor.
When you sear the beef short ribs in a skillet, the outside of the meat caramelizes slightly. This then builds into a fuller-flavor dish, as the flavor releases into the cooking liquid in the crockpot.
We recommend using a cast-iron skillet to sear your beef. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, here are two of our favorites:
Many cuts of beef on the bone, especially beef short rib recipes, really come into their own when braising after searing like slow cooker beef tips and gravy. Korean short ribs are another delicious example of cooking beef short ribs.
What does deglazing mean?
Deglazing a pan is a method for cooking that helps unstick those delicious browned bits at the bottom of a pan after searing food, like beef short ribs, for example.
You then use the sauce from deglazing as a gravy for the meal. Those browned bits are flavor, and deglazing is the best way to put that flavor back into your meal!
How to Make the Drippings Into a Sauce
You are going to want to save the delicious juice drippings. Remove the short ribs and pour the juices into a pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Then simmer until the sauce reduces for about about 15 minutes.
How to Make the Drippings Into a Gravy
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add in 2 tablespoons of flour and quickly stir together into a paste. Pour in the juices while stirring and heat over medium-high heat until thickened.
Follow our step-by-step directions on how to make the perfect slow cooker gravy. You can have a delicious beef gravy in minutes!
What makes this the best beef short ribs recipe?
- First and foremost, this is the best short ribs slow cooker recipe because you can prep it in the morning or even the night before and it cooks in the crockpot all day long. You can have a delicious and nutritious family meal on the table when you get home from a busy day!
- The combination of the red wine and balsamic vinegar deglazing the pan after searing the ribs gives this dish amazing flavor.
- Short rib recipes are perfect for cooking your veggies in the crockpot, meaning side dishes are done with very little effort. Try adding fingerling potatoes in the slow cooker and watch how flavorful they come out!
- The braising marinade in this crock-pot short rib recipe makes its own sauce. No need to take extra steps to make a beef gravy!
Want your recipe to look just like ours? Try serving it on this gorgeous black matte stoneware plate with a black stainless steel serving fork and spoon!
Side Dishes for Ribs in the Slow Cooker
We personally think Green Beans Almondine is a must with these juicy short ribs! Mmmmm…. these garlic butter green beans are perfection!
Easy Crockpot Short Ribs
These slow cooker beef short ribs are cooked in a flavorful mix that you don’t want to throw away. The best way to enjoy this recipe for short ribs in a crockpot is with something that can mop up that wonderful gravy!
Everyone loves homemade bread, and our sprouted bread is easy to make and so delicious. It’s perfect with the short rib gravy!
Any side dish for roast beef is a good option to serve with our slow cooker beef ribs recipe.
Crockpot Beef Ribs
This crockpot beef ribs recipe is so easy to prepare and packed with flavor. Tender meat, flavorful beef gravy, oh-so-delicious, and wonderfully comforting any night of the week!
Slow cooker recipes are the perfect solution to get family meals on the table in a snap!
When you get out that slow cooker on those chilly days, Starbucks pumpkin bread, is the perfect dessert to pair with a comforting meal of fall off the bone short ribs. Seriously, your family will thank you!
Try some of our other favorite easy beef recipes for your weeknight dinners:
- Korean Braised Short Ribs (Galbi Jjim)
- Beef Chuck Roast Recipe
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Dutch Oven Pot Roast
If you are looking for super easy slow cooker recipes, check out our best slow cooker recipes:
- Slow Cooker Beef Gravy
- Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast
- Easy Slow Cooker Roast Beef
- Slow Cooker Chicken Wings
- Slow Cooker Carne Picada
Don’t forget dessert! Nothing says comfort food on a chilly day like this Slow roasted short ribs paired with our moist Starbucks Pumpkin Bread. Trust us on this one!
And while you’re at it, give our Grilled Beef Short Ribs a try! They are so flavorful and easy to make!
Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- 2.5 lb beef chuck short ribs
- 1/4 tsp salt approx
- 1/4 tsp pepper aprox
- 1 onion
- 8 ribs celery or one stalk
- 3 carrots medium
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil or other flavorless oil
- 1 clove garlic crushed or 1 tsp finely diced garlic
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/2 tsp rosemary dried
- 3 bay leaves
- Pat the short ribs dry, if needed, and sprinkle them all over with salt and pepper.
- Finely dice the onion, celery, and carrots.
- Warm half of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sear the short ribs on all sides in two batches so you don't overcrowd the skillet. Make sure to sear until you have a nice mahogany crust.
- Put the short ribs in the slow cooker once browned, in one layer with the bones facing up.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the skillet along with the remaining oil. Reduce the heat slightly, as needed, so the vegetables don't burn.
- Cook the vegetables for a couple minutes then add the garlic, cook a minute more then add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any browning from the skillet.
- As it starts to simmer, add the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, broth, rosemary, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer then pour over the short ribs.
- Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 – 8 hours.
- Remove the bay leaves when it is done and discard it.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or thick pasta like pappardelle.
- For maximum flavor and tenderness we recommend Certified Angus Beef® brand beef short ribs
- I used bone in short ribs for this recipe but boneless short ribs also work well.
- Make sure to give the short ribs a good amount of seasoning with salt and pepper to intensify the flavor.
- Important step: Heating oil in a skillet and searing the ribs on all sides in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. This step is key to beautiful and flavorful short ribs.
- You can also use large pieces of carrots and serve them as your side dish.
Photography credit: Caroline Williams