Easy Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker

Easy Short Ribs are the perfect main dish for your Christmas dinner because they are oh-so decadent and taste like you slaved away in the kitchen for your guests.  The flavors from the onion, carrots, demi-glace, thyme, and garlic all seep into the meat, which is fall-apart tender and absolutely delicious.

These ridiculously-simple Easy Short Ribs are braised in the slow cooker rather than the oven.  Which means…you are FREE!!!  You can go wrap presents, go to yoga, make a snowman with the kids, or run other errands.  You no longer have to stay in the house watching the oven for 4 hours.  Which….makes these the ideal Holiday Hero Dish.  Go to my Shopping Page to see which slow cooker I use and recommend.

One of the most popular items when I was catering was my Carrie’s Catering Braised Short Ribs.  I would make them for weddings, private dinner parties, and on request, I would make them for friends and family.  I would braise them in the oven, cooking for about 4 hours on high heat.  But, this recipe is even easier because you can put them in the slow cooker and head out for the day, coming home to that amazing smell and warm fall-apart meat just waiting to be eaten.  My original recipe also called for red wine.  This version was adapted based on my children’s preferences.  Both with and without wine are delicious, so I will get my original Braised Short Ribs Recipe posted soon, but essentially, you would replace 1 cup of the broth and the vinegar with 2 cups of Red Wine.

In the oven, I like to get the short ribs on the bone so all of the flavor from the bones oozes out into the braising liquid and flavors the meat.  However, in the slow cooker, the bones take up a lot of space, so I opt for the boneless short ribs to maximize the meat I can fit.  You still get plenty amazing flavor!

You simply dice the carrots, celery, and onion.  Then coat the meat in flour and sear in a pan on all sides.  Add 1 cup of beef broth to the pan to get all meat bits up from the bottom of the pan, then add the meat and broth to the slow cooker.  Add the rest of the broth and other ingredients, cover, set to 8 hours and that’s it!  Set & Forget!

I love to serve these Easy Short Ribs with Creamy Parmesan Polenta, so check out that recipe by clicking here.

Enjoy!

Carrie, Talking Meals

Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Easy Short Ribs are the perfect main dish for entertaining because they are oh-so decadent and taste like you slaved away in the kitchen for your guests.  The flavors from the onion, carrots, demi-glace, thyme, and garlic all seep into the meat, which is fall-apart tender and absolutely delicious.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Short Ribs, boneless
  • 1/4 cup All purpose white flour
  • 1 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Carrots, diced
  • 1 Small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbls Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Beef Broth (or 3 cups + 1 cup red wine)
  • 1.5 oz Demi-Glace
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar (eliminate if adding red wine)
  • 2 tbls Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Thyme, dried
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Dice the Carrots and Onion.  Mince the garlic.  Chop the parsley.  Place all in the slow cooker - but save some of the parsley for garnish.

  2. Cut the short ribs into 2" pieces.  In a bowl or baggie, mix the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Coat the outside of the short rib pieces on all sides.  Shake off excess and add to a preheated pan with 1 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Sear on all sides.

  3. Once seared, add 1 cup of beef broth and scrape all of the yummy beef bits up from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the meat and broth to the slow cooker.  Note: if using red wine in this recipe, replace this 1 cup of broth with 1 cup of red wine

  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker: remaining broth, tomato paste, demi-glace, red wine vinegar(eliminate if using red wine), Worcestershire Sauce, thyme, bay leaf, pinch of salt and pepper.

  5. Stir to combine ingredients, then turn slow cooker on for 8 hours.  

  6. At 8 hours, test for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.  Test the meat to ensure that it is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork.  Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta, rice, or noodles.  

Recipe Notes

My original recipe called for red wine, but this version was adapted based on my children’s preferences.  Both with and without wine are delicious.  For the wine version, you would replace 1 cup of the broth and the vinegar with 2 cups of Red Wine.

5 thoughts on “Easy Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker

    1. Sorry for the delayed response! Yes, these can of course be served with rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta. Did you end up making them?

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