Slow Cooker Short Ribs
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Making Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs is super easy and results in a fall-apart tender, decadent, gourmet dinner! This dump-and-go recipe is perfect for the holidays or a special birthday dinner.
Or, you may prefer to make our Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs instead.
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Hy-Vee (Columbia).
3 Reasons to Make This Short Ribs Recipe
While short ribs aren’t cheap (look for sales!), they are worth it for at least these 3 reasons…
- This “low and slow” method of braising short ribs results in one of the most meltingly tender, fall-off-the-bone pot roasts around.
- This recipe is truly a gourmet dump-and-go recipe! The sweet-savory sauce comes together fast but has complex flavor in the end.
- Works well for holiday meals or a special birthday dinner.
Video: How to Make Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Take a peek at how easily this meal comes together…
Where to Get Your Ingredients
We suggest grabbing all your ingredients for Slow Cooker Short Ribs at your local Hy-Vee. If you have this store nearby, you know what a gem you have under your nose–especially if you’re a parent who knows all of these hacks!
Hy-Vee is a “one-stop shop” for anything you might need, from high-quality ingredients to grab-and-go meals to their pharmacy and much more. I especially love their Health Market and super helpful Meat Department.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this short ribs recipe…
- Beef broth
- Balsamic vinegar – A little acid in any sauce enhances the flavor of the dish.
- Soy sauce – Adds savory-salty umami flavor. For gluten-free option, use coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce.
- Honey – Perfect amount of sweetness to balance the saltiness.
- Garlic cloves – Use pre-minced to save time.
- Red pepper flakes – Adds a little heat in the background.
- Salt and pepper
- Bone-in English-style beef short ribs – Find these at the meat counter (or call ahead to order them). Ask your butcher to trim off some excess fat and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Look for them to go on sale!
Tip: Ask Your Hy-Vee Butcher for Help
One of the perks of Hy-Vee that I most appreciate is their helpful, knowledgeable staff at the butcher counter! Be sure to ask them to cut your short ribs into 2-inch pieces and to trim off some of the fat. It will be a huge help to you.
- Cornstarch – To thicken the sauce at the end. This is optional but recommended.
- Fresh Parsley – Chop and sprinkle over the top as a fresh, colorful garnish.
Let’s walk through each step together before you get started…
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the beef broth, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
Slow Cook the Short Ribs
Place the ribs in a crockpot. Pour the marinade over the top and stir to coat the ribs. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours. Use tongs to transfer the ribs to a serving platter.
Thicken the Sauce
Optional, but recommended: Carefully pour or ladle the remaining juices from the crockpot into a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Whisk this into the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking regularly, until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
Drizzle some of the sauce over the ribs and garnish with chopped parsley. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve warm with extra sauce on the side. Tip: These are delicious served over warm mashed potatoes or polenta.
Alternative Way to Serve Short Ribs
Shred the meat off the bones and serve with the thickened sauce over mashed potatoes or polenta.
Side Dishes for Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Make It a Freezer Meal
Like with most of our recipes, we’ve figured out the best way to prep it ahead and freeze for later…
To Freeze For Later:
Mix up the marinade in a bowl. Place the ribs and marinade in either a gallon-sized freezer bags. Seal tightly and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen:
Note: You will need cornstarch and parsley on hand to complete this meal. Thaw in the refrigerator completely. Cook according to Steps 2-4 in the recipe below.
Check out all of our delicious, easy, and healthy freezer meals.
We know you may have some more questions about slow cooking beef short ribs. You can always leave a question below in the comments or here are some FAQs.
Can I Make This in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Check out our recipe for Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs for a full tutorial and a printable recipe.
How Long to Slow Cook the Short Ribs
While developing recipes for our second cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we learned a LOT about the best cooking times for crockpot meals. We found in our tests that short ribs turn out best when cooked on LOW for 8-10 hours.
Slow Cooker Cooking Times Chart (Free!)
We spent years testing slow cooker timing for various recipes for our second cookbook. We put all our knowledge into one handy printable cheat sheet for you. Never overcook (or undercook) a crock pot meal again!
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
Slow Cooker Short Ribs
Making Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs is super easy and results in a fall-apart tender, decadent, gourmet dinner! Perfect for the holidays or a special birthday dinner.
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (Gluten-free option: Use coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons pre-minced garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (increase if you want more heat)
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 5 pounds bone-in English-style beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces*
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional, but recommended)
- Fresh parsley, chopped (as garnish)
*Ask your butcher to do this for you! You might even want to call ahead.
Tip: Grab all of these ingredients at your local Hy-Vee.
Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.
Make It Now:
- Prep Marinade: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the beef broth, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
- Cook: Place the ribs in the crockpot. Pour the marinade over the top and stir to coat the ribs. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Use tongs to transfer the ribs to a serving platter.
- Thicken Sauce: Optional, but recommended: Carefully pour or ladle the remaining juices from the crockpot into a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Whisk this into the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking regularly, until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve: Drizzle some of the sauce over the ribs and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm with extra sauce on the side. Tip: These are delicious served over warm mashed potatoes or polenta.
To Freeze For Later:
Follow Step 1. Place the ribs and sauce in either a 2 gallon freezer bag or two gallon-sized freezer bags. Seal tightly and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen:
Note: You will need cornstarch and parsley on hand to complete this meal. Thaw in the refrigerator completely. Follow Steps 2-4.
- Instant Pot Version: Make this same recipe in your pressure cooker using our Instant Pot Short Ribs recipe.
- Try This Recipe with Chuck Roast Instead: If you love this sauce but want a cheaper cut of beef, try making our Balsamic Shredded Beef. Delicious!
- Alternative Way to Serve Short Ribs: Shred the meat off the bones and serve with the thickened sauce over mashed potatoes or polenta.
Another Short Ribs Recipe You’ll Love!
Looking for another well-tested short ribs recipe?
Our second cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, features one of my personal favorite recipes in the book: Asian-Style Beef Short Ribs. The sauce has a complex, sweet-spicy combo of flavors that pairs perfectly with the short ribs. Serve over rice.
Every recipe in this cookbook works in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker. And…we’ll show you how to make each recipe into a freezer meal, too!
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