This luxurious Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs is a knockout dinner idea! Valentine’s Day dinner, perhaps? Made with red wine, garlic, herbs and mushrooms, it’s super fancy, but also real easy, and you can let the slow cooker do all the work. Get ready for deliciousness!
A Tender Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe
If you’re looking for an easy dinner idea that will impress everyone at the table, look no further, my friends. Even though this short rib recipe involves “fancy” ingredients like red wine 😉, your slow cooker actually does most of the work. Don’t you just love it when that happens? I know I am seriously thrilled when my kitchen appliances help me make something restaurant-quality delicious without spending all day in the kitchen.
These literally fall-off-the-bone, tender short ribs are incredible over mashed potatoes, but also over mashed cauliflower! I mean, it is pure comfort food. Pour yourself a glass of red wine on the side, dig in, and just take in all those bold flavors. 🍷
If you ask me, a slice of crusty bread is just the thing to top off the whole experience. 😋
And yes, I’m suggesting a glass of wine with a dish that is cooked in wine. You have to do something with the wine that’s leftover after your make this recipe, right? 🥂
What Are Short Ribs?
Short ribs are a special cut of beef, and if you treat them right, they are absolutely delicious. As far as beef goes, short ribs are similar to both chuck and ribeye, very flavorful and hearty.
In this recipe, we’ll use slow-cooking to make the lengthy braising process very easy, and give the short ribs the royal treatment with onions, mushrooms, a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and lots of herbs. 🤤
You don’t need very many ingredients to make this special dish. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples like dried herbs and olive oil.
- Short Ribs: You’ll need three pounds of bone-in beef short ribs, measuring about 2.5 inches across. Don’t get the thinly cut rib meat that is meant for barbecuing and/or grilling.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing.
- Onions: I use two small yellow onions or one large one. You can also substitute white or sweet onions.
- Mushrooms: You’ll need a pound of baby mushrooms, quartered.
- Garlic: Mince four cloves of garlic, or put them through a garlic press.
- Red Wine: For this recipe, I use two cups of Cabernet Sauvignon, or you can use your favorite dry red wine.
- Beef Broth: You can use your favorite beef broth. Homemade is wonderful, or you can go with packaged broth; if you do, I recommend using a low-sodium broth.
- Dried Herbs: We’ll be using ½ a teaspoon each of dried oregano, thyme, rosemary and marjoram, plus two bay leaves.
- Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower: for serving.
Which Red Wine Is Best to Use?
- In general, most cooks agree that you shouldn’t use any wine in cooking that you wouldn’t like to drink. However, other cooks happily use “inferior” wines for cooking and report good results. It’s up to you! This recipe does depend on the wine being a dry red, so I recommend Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir or Shiraz.
How to Make Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very similar to making a pot roast! Super simple. Essentially, all you need to do is brown the beef, then cook it in the wine, broth and seasonings!
- Brown Short Ribs: After coating the insert of your slow cooker with cooking spray or oil, season your short ribs with salt and pepper. Then, heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet, and brown on all sides. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet. Then, place the browned ribs in the slow cooker insert and set aside.
- Sauté Onions, Garlic & Mushrooms: Return your skillet to the heat, add the onions, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the quartered mushrooms and garlic; cook for 2 minutes more.
- Deglaze Pan & Season Sauce: Once the veggies have been sauteed, pour the wine into the hot skillet and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the beef broth and herbs (except for the bay leaves). Bring to a boil and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Slow-Cook Ribs in Sauce: Pour the red wine mixture over the short ribs, add the two bay leaves, cover, and cook on LOW for 9 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 6 to 8 hours.
- Finish & Serve: When the short ribs are tender and done cooking, remove them, along with the mushrooms, to a platter. Pour the rest of the cooking liquid through a strainer, remove the fat from the top of the strained liquid, and then pour the strained liquid into a gravy boat.
- Serve the ribs, mushrooms and sauce along with mashed potatoes.
Tips for Success
This dish is easy to make, but it does help to have a little bit of extra info. Keep reading for my best tips on choosing delicious short ribs and making the most of this recipe.
- Know Your Ribs: When you look for short ribs, keep in mind that there are two ways of cutting them. One is “flanken” style, where each piece is a long, rectangular strip with several short sections of rib bone along the bottom. The other is “English” style, short pieces with one full rib bone in each. Both cuts work well for this dish, as long as they’re relatively thick and chunky! Some flanken cuts are extra thin and are meant for grilling; those won’t work well here.
- Know Your Marbling: The best short ribs are generously marbled, and may or may not have a thin “cap” of fat on one side. Do not choose short ribs that have a thick cap of fat, or excessive marbling; you want them to be nice and meaty.
- Bacon is an Option: While some cooks disagree with adding bacon to this dish, I think that browning the ribs in bacon grease (if you have any) adds a nice touch, similar to Beef Bourguignon.
Looking for dishes that taste good alongside slow cooker short ribs? These ones are the best!
- Homemade Rolls: A main course this saucy deserves some bread on the side, don’t you think? I love making a batch of Orange Glazed Sweet Dinner Rolls to go with the short ribs. They’re indulgent and delicious! This No Knead Skillet Cheese Bread would also be fabulous!
- Mashed Potatoes or Cauliflower: How about Creamy Baked Mashed Potatoes or Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower?
- Roasted Vegetables: What dinner is complete without some lovely side veggies? And roasting them sheet-pan style is so convenient. Try my Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables, and you’ll be hooked!
What Else Goes with Braised Short Ribs?
What else goes with braised short ribs? How about everything! Seriously, this flavorful recipe plays well with a smorgasbord of options. Here are a few more of the tasty sides I suggest!
- Yorkshire Pudding
- Buttered Egg Noodles or Rice
- Mashed or Riced Cauliflower
- Buttered Peas
- Steamed Asparagus
- A Garden Salad
- Hot Biscuits
- Baked Apples
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you have leftover slow cooker short ribs, be sure to store them properly by following these directions.
- To Refrigerate: Store leftovers in their sauce in airtight food storage containers. Short ribs will keep for 3 to 4 days, if properly stored.
- To Reheat: Place the short ribs and sauce in a covered skillet over low heat, until they are completely heated through.
Can You Freeze Short Ribs?
- Yes, you can! Freeze the ribs in their sauce, using freezer-safe food storage containers or freezer bags. Remember to leave a small amount of room for the liquid to expand as it freezes.
- Use within two months for the best taste and texture.
- Reheat slowly on the stove, in a covered skillet set over low heat.
Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 pound baby mushrooms, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups dry red wine, I use Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- Mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, for serving
- Coat the insert of your slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside.
- Season short ribs with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add ribs to the heated oil and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet.
- Transfer browned ribs to the insert of your slow cooker; set aside.
- Return skillet to heat; add onions and cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in mushrooms and garlic; cook for 2 minutes.
- Add wine and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
- Stir in beef broth and season with oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram; increase heat and bring to a boil; lower heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and pour the sauce over the short ribs.
- Add bay leaves.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, or on HIGH for 6 to 8 hours.
- Remove lid and taste for salt; adjust accordingly and stir.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove ribs and mushrooms to a serving platter. Discard bay leaves.
- Strain the cooking liquid through a mesh sieve set over a bowl or large glass mug. Remove fat from the top of the strained liquid, and transfer the liquid to a gravy boat.
- Serve ribs with mashed potatoes and strained cooking liquid.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
I have tons more recipes that are easily and conveniently cooked in the slow cooker. Check out a couple of my favorites!
- Slow Cooker Pork Loin Chili Verde
- Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin (Chicken in Wine)
- Thick and Creamy Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate