Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

26 March 2014

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs #SlowCooker #CrockPot #ShortRibs #ShortRibRecipe
Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

Let your slow cooker do the work infusing these juicy braised beef short ribs with a tangy, yet sweet flavor.

It seems no one who shops in the grocery store that's in my town ever buy short ribs.  On the last day of sale, there's always drastic reductions on them, so I'm always right up there stocking up!

For years, I have been trying to duplicate a short rib dish my late husband once ordered in a restaurant.  I was reluctant to order the same thing because I am not a huge fan of anything cooked in a tomato-type base.  However, when I tasted what he got, I was sorry I didn't order it.

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs #SlowCooker #CrockPot #ShortRibs #ShortRibRecipe
Slow cooking infuses flavor

I'd seen recipes for years that looked something like what the restaurant made, but all of these involved at least 4 hours running the oven.  I'm cheap.  Bottled gas costs an arm and a leg.  Needless to say I put making these on the back burner.

That restaurant dish came to mind when I was picking through the reduced short ribs.  Since I dusted off my crock pots, I figured it may be possible to try to duplicate that recipe again--with some alterations for the effects of slow cooking (namely a watery sauce).

The very first thing I do with any slow-cooked meat is brown it well and deglaze the pan.  This results in a much better flavor in the final result.  I suggest you don't skip this step.  For that matter, if you can keep an eye on it, then this probably could be cooked entirely on the stove top in a dutch oven.  Either way, it will taste fine.  I just find the slow cooker infuses flavor better.

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs #SlowCooker #CrockPot #ShortRibs #ShortRibRecipe
Juicy ribs with a tangy, yet sweet sauce

Since these ribs are pretty fatty, what I do here is make them the day before, much like my Classic Pot Roast, and let the fat congeal then just easily lift it off the juice and throw it away.  I always chill the gravy/juice in a separate container to the meat--makes fat removal easier with a flat surface!

I prefer a more concentrated flavor, so after removing the fat, I generally reduce the pan juices.  This makes these ribs taste so much better.  It's not a necessary step, and you don't have to do it, but the pan juices will be more watery and not have the more intense flavor.

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

  • 4 lbs (about 8 ribs) beef short ribs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 beef stock cubes -or- 1 tub Knorr concentrated beef stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 lb peeled baby carrots
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme (or 3 sprigs fresh)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Season ribs with salt & pepper to taste.

Brown short ribs on all sides.  Place browned short ribs in a 6-7 quart slow cooker.

In the same pan you browned the ribs in, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and saute over medium-low heat until onion is slightly tender (about 3-5 minutes). Deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup water. Add the stock cubes (or tub of concentrated stock), the entire can of diced tomatoes (including liquid), the bay leaf, carrots and the thyme. Mix well.

Pour over ribs in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on HI 4-6 hours, LOW 8-10 hours. Cooking times are a guide only as slow cookers do cook at different rates.  Check at minimum times for each setting for doneness.

Remove ribs to serving platter, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven (approx 200 degrees F).

Remove as much fat from the pan juices as possible (for what I do, see narrative above).  

Transfer pan juices to a large skillet and reduce sauce to 1/2 over medium-high heat.  This will take about 5 minutes.  This step may be eliminated if you want a less-intense flavor to the sauce.

Pour sauce over ribs on serving platter.  Serve with rice or over mashed potatoes.

Serves 4 (2 ribs each)

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs #SlowCooker #CrockPot #ShortRibs #ShortRibRecipe
Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

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Topper said...

Great looking recipe!

I would likely replace the 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup red wine :)

Thanks for posting it!

Judith Hannemann said...

Wine ALWAYS works LOL!!!

Meredith Klein-Hertzel said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! I will definitely be trying this with the wine substitute as well :) One question: can you use boneless short ribs too? Thanks for posting!

Judith Hannemann said...

Sure Meredith--boneless will work really well. What kind of wine substitute are you using? This I didn't make with wine, just stock, but it sounds interesting.

Meredith Klein-Hertzel said...

I'm not sure yet. Was thinking a Pinot Noir. I like using wine with slow cooker meals because it just makes the meat so tender. Do you just substitute you 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of beef stock?

Judith Hannemann said...

EXCELLENT CHOICE!!! I'd just substitute the whole amount of stock with wine. On this I would have used wine, but quite a few people write to me and ask if they could substitute something non-alcoholic, so I figured I would do something with no wine in it. I LOVE cooking with wine; such a special flavor!

Char Whitman said...

Looking forward to trying this recipe,Thank You

Judith Hannemann said...

Hope you enjoy it!

cutedebbie said...

I made your recipe a few weeks back and it was amazing! Making it again tonight for my sisters birthday and again next weekend for another celebration. Great recipe!

Judith Hannemann said...

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed them!

justin rutter said...

Referring to comment above on substituting says for whole amount of I using stock or water at all or just wine? And how much wine? Thank you!

Judith Hannemann said...

If you are going to use the concentrated stock jelly or the cubes Justin, just substitute the 1/2 cup water with the wine of your choice.

I think what the lady who was commenting meant was she was going to use ready-made stock and do 1/2 water with 1/2 wine...I'm not sure of the volume she was using so I don't want to mislead you here. That might turn out way too watery, but if you wanted to do that, 1/2 cup stock to 1/2 cup wine would give you more juice but not too much more than the original.

But if you use the ingredients in my directions, just use 1/2 cup of wine. It will turn out fine.


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