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crockpot short ribs on plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

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.

Yield: 5-6 servings 1x
Prep: 10 minutesCook: 8-10 hoursTotal: 11 minute


  • 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. 

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Make It Now:

  1. Prep Marinade: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the beef broth, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: American Method: Slow Cooker