These slow cooker Beef Short Ribs are the ideal hosting entree. The Beef Ribs take a mere 15 minutes of prep, leaving the slow cooker to take over the rest of the hard work. Make these for your next dinner party!
This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
What are Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs?
Slow cooker Beef Short Ribs, sometimes called “Beef Ribs”, are sauteéd Ribs that are slowly cooked in a Beef and red wine broth over six hours. The result is marvelously melt-in-your-mouth tender Beef Ribs. It’s the premier protein entree for celebrating with friends and family during the holidays and beyond!
Cuts of Beef Ribs & Their Differences
There are two main types of Beef Ribs: short Ribs and back Ribs. Both types are tender and delectable when cooked properly, but they do have a few differences.
- Short Ribs: In short Ribs, the meat is found on top of the bones. They are called “short” because they look like short pieces of rib bones encased in meat. This type is perfect for slow cooking because of the high fat content. Short Ribs are taken from two main areas of the cow (short plate and chuck) and referred to in terms of style of cut (english, flanken, trimmed, and untrimmed).
- Back Ribs: The meat on back Ribs is found between the bones. This meat is lean and comes from the area just behind the shoulder. Back rRbs typically have less meat, but with the bone marrow, these Ribs make a phenomenal broth.
Beef Ribs Video
Making The Beef Ribs
Slow cooker Beef Short Ribs take a mere 15 minutes of hands-on prep, followed by a few hours of hands-off braising. It’s the perfect dish to prep in the morning with confidence that a tasty dinner will be ready at the end of the day.
- Brown the Beef Ribs: Preheat a large skillet on high heat, then brown the Short Ribs on all sides until they are golden brown.
- Add the juices: Add the Beef broth, red wine, salt, and pepper to a slow cooker.
- Cook the Beef Ribs: Add the browned Short Ribs to the slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender.
- Simmer the drippings: Transfer the liquid Beef drippings from the slow cooker to a saucepan and make a tasty sauce or gravy. Serve over the Beef Ribs.
What Do I Do With the Beef Drippings?
The drippings that form after cooking in the slow cooker for six hours are liquid gold. Refine the liquid into a sauce or gravy to pour and serve over your Beef Ribs.
- Use drippings to make a sauce. Transfer the liquid into a skillet and simmer for 15 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness. This sauce adds an incredible amount of flavor and extra moisture to the dish.
- Make gravy with the drippings. Combine one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of flour in a pan. Stir and cook until the flour is lightly browned. Add the liquid drippings and simmer until it thickens into a gravy.
Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Ribs
These Beef slow cooker Ribs take an ordinary meal and make it an extraordinary experience. Follow these tips to capitalize on this dish’s alluring flavor.
- Brown the meat: Brown the meat to caramelize it slightly. This caramelized flavor permeates deep into the meat as it cooks. For best results, pat the Beef Ribs dry with a paper towel before browning.
- Use a tasty red wine: Expensive wine doesn’t necessarily mean better in this recipe. Use any tasty red wine you personally enjoy (sweet or dry).
- Choose two-inch thick Ribs: When choosing Short Ribs, pick the ones that are two inches thick. These will have the most tender, juicy centers. Both boneless and bone-in Beef Ribs work great.
- Add vegetables: Beef Ribs and simple seasonings alone will yield fantastic results. However, for a more diverse flavor and texture, add chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, and/or onions.
- Season more: Salt and pepper go a long way to flavor the Beef Ribs, but feel free to season more by adding a teaspoon of thyme or a couple of bay leaves to the slow cooker for more variety.
- Measure the temperature: Beef Ribs are ready when they reach 160°F. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. For more tender meat, keep it cooking in the slow cooker, but avoid cooking for too long or the meat may become too mushy.
- Serve with fresh herbs: Rosemary and parsley pair flawlessly with Beef Ribs. Garnish the top of the meat with these fresh herbs for visual flair and fresh flavor.
Serve the braised Short Ribs overtop a bowl of mashed potatoes, mushroom risotto, mashed cauliflower, rice, or egg noodles. Pour the dripping sauce or gravy overtop to add extra creaminess.
On the side, set out your favorite single or combined vegetable dishes like parmesan panko roasted veggies, sauteéd asparagus, roasted parsnips and carrots, beet salad with goat cheese, or roasted cabbage wedge salad. Complete your menu with a slice of toasted honey wheat bread, no knead dinner rolls, sourdough biscuits to dip into the dripping sauce/gravy. You’ll be wiping your bowl clean!
Storing & Reheating Tips
In case of leftover Beef Short Ribs, store them properly by following these tips.
- Refrigerator: To store for up to 3-4 days, place leftovers (including the sauce) in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezer: To freeze for up to 2 months, freeze the Ribs in their sauce in a freezer safe container. Leave enough room for the liquid to expand as it freezes.
- Reheating: To reheat from the fridge or freezer, place the short Ribs and sauce in a skillet and cover with a lid. Warm over low heat until Ribs are heated through.
Can I make slow cooker Beef Short Ribs in a crockpot or pressure cooker?
Yes! Slow cooker Beef Short Ribs are meant to be made in a crock pot or slow cooker. If using a pressure cooker, use the slow cooker function.
How do I make slow cooker Beef Short Ribs ahead of time?
To prepare slow cooker Beef Short Ribs ahead of time, brown and sauté the meat the night before. Refrigerate the browned meat and then place in the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients when ready to cook. Or, fully cook the dish, then refrigerate and reheat when ready to serve.
Are there boneless Short Ribs?
There are both boneless and bone-in Short Ribs. Both are the same cut of meat, but boneless have had the bone removed. Both types can be used to make slow cooker Beef Short Ribs.
More Beef Recipes
- Korean Beef Galbi – Grilled Beef Short Ribs in a sweet, savory sauce
- Smoked Beef Brisket – Simply seasoned and slowly-smoked Beef Brisket
- Beef Stroganoff – Tender strips of Beef and mushrooms in a creamy sauce
- Beef and Barley Soup – Hearty soup made with tender Beef, barley, and vegetables
- 4 lbs Beef Short Ribs cut into 3 x 2 inch pieces
- 3 cups Beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper adjust to taste
- Preheat a skillet on high heat. Brown short ribs on all sides until golden brown.
- To a slow cooker, add beef broth, red wine, salt, and pepper.
- Add Beef Short Ribs to the slow cooker. Cook on High for about 6 hours or until the meat is tender.
- Remove ribs. Move the liquids to a skillet and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid reaches desired thickness. Serve over Beef Short Ribs. Enjoy!
These needed much more salt. Basically tasted like any roast I've ever had. Needs more flavor enhancing herbs and spices
than recipe recommends. After 6 hours, they were very tender. Just basic roast, tho.
Hi Jen, thank you for sharing your feedback. You may need more salt, we do suggest to adjust to your taste because salt can have different strength. Also, if you look at our tips section, you can find recommendations that would help with enhancing the flavor. I hope this helps. 🙂
Do I need to search this before adding to the slow cooker?
Hi Ashly- can you please clarify? Are you asking if the short ribs need to be seared first? If so, then yes you need to sear them before adding to the slow cooker- please see step 1 in the recipe card.
Am I able to cook them on low for longer?
Hi Nicole, you can make them on a lower setting for 8 hours. Thank you for that question. I hope you love this recipe! Enjoy!
Hi Linda , if I don’t have slow cooker , can I make it in the oven ?
Hi Malka, I am sure you can make it in the oven on a lower heat. I have not made it like that before, so I cant be very specific on the time and temperature needed. If you give it a try, I would love to know the result!
What do you brown the ribs in?
Hi Lynda, I usually use a pan to brown the meat before cooking it fully. I hope this helps. Good luck and enjoy!
Do you use oil or anything in the pan?
Hi Lynda, I dont use any because the meat has enough fat on it. Thank you for bringing that up, I will have to clarify that. Here is a link to a video for that recipe. Hope this helps! https://www.instagram.com/ree…
Thank-you for the clarification. I’ve never made this before and am going to try it tomorrow.
Lynda, It is my pleasure! Good luck!!
This recipe came out perfect! I followed the recipe and added some carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic cloves. I’ll definitely make it again but might wait for the price of short ribs to come down.
Thank-you for answering all my questions.
Hi Lynda, I love that the recipe was a success! I get you on the price of the meat, it's painful on the wallet. Thanks so much for reaching out and being a part of the Momsdish community!
This dish is incredible! The meat is so tender and flavorful. My whole family loved it!
I am so glad to hear that, Anna! Thank you for your feedback! Enjoy!
These were a huge hit with my teenage boys! Such a fabulous recipe!
Hi Shana, I am delighted to hear that! Enjoy!
The meat just fell right off the bone. Incredibly tender and flavorful. Adding this to my recipe book!
Hi Abby, I am thrilled to hear that! Thank you for the feedback. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!