Slow Cooker Short Ribs

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This luxurious Red Wine Braised Slow Cooker Short Ribs is a knockout meal! Holiday dinner, perhaps? Made with red wine, garlic, herbs, and mushrooms, it’s super fancy but also really easy, and you can let the slow cooker do all the work.

overhead shot of red wine braised beef short ribs in a slow cooker


 

Slow Cooker Beef 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 beef short ribs 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 am thrilled when my kitchen appliances help me make something restaurant-quality delicious without spending all day in the kitchen. The end result is tender, fall-off-the-bone short ribs that pair so well with either mashed potatoes or a lighter mashed cauliflower for the perfect contrast.

With this recipe, you can immerse yourself in the ultimate comfort food experience, chasing each bite with a glass of red wine to complement those bold, savory flavors. Don’t hesitate to savor each moment, perhaps with a slice of crusty bread to capture every delicious drop. And, of course, don’t let that remaining wine feel left out – it’s the perfect excuse to pour an extra glass and toast to a well-made meal.

overhead shot of a plate with mashed potatoes and short ribs

What Are Short Ribs?

Beef Short Ribs are a special cut of beef, and if you treat them right, they are absolutely delicious. Short ribs are similar to both chuck and ribeye, very flavorful and hearty, and in this recipe, we will use the slow cooker to make the lengthy braising process very easy and give the short ribs the royal treatment with onions, mushrooms, a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and some herbs.

Ingredients For Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

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.
raw beef short ribs

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve the ribs, mushrooms and sauce along with mashed potatoes.

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.
overhead shot of short ribs in red wine sauce with text overlay

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.

  • How To Choose Beef Short Ribs: When you look for short ribs, keep in mind that there are two ways of cutting them. One is the “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 in the slow cooker.
  • 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.
fork tearing at short ribs

What To Serve With Short Ribs

short ribs served over mashed potatoes and a glass of wine to the side

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • 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, leaving 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.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

I have tons of recipes that are easily and conveniently cooked in the slow cooker. Check out a few of my favorites!

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4.83 from 47 votes

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

This slow-simmered, luxurious main course of Red Wine Braised Slow Cooker Short Ribs is a knockout! Made with red wine, garlic, herbs and mushrooms, it’s super fancy, but also super easy to make.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • salt and freshly ground black 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
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Instructions 

  • Coat the insert of your slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the short 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 the browned ribs to the insert of your slow cooker and set aside.
  • Return the skillet to heat; add the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Stir in the beef broth and season with oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram; increase the heat and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the 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 the lid and taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly and stir.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the ribs and mushrooms to a serving platter. Discard the 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 the short ribs with mashed potatoes and strained cooking liquid.

Notes

  • Choosing Beef Short Ribs: Opt for either “flanken” or “English” style short ribs, ensuring they are thick and chunky. Avoid extra thin flanken cuts intended for grilling.
  • Quality Ingredients: Choose ribs with generous marbling, but avoid those with a thick fat cap. Aim for a meaty selection for the best flavor.
  • Wine Selection: A common cooking adage is only to use wine you’d enjoy drinking. However, some chefs find good results using less expensive wines. The choice is yours! For this recipe, dry red wine is essential, with options like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Shiraz being highly recommended.
  • Bacon: For an added flavor, consider browning the ribs in bacon grease, then crumble the bacon and serve it with the short ribs.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 863mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg

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.

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    68 Comments

    1. Cory says:

      Awesome recipe Katerina, thanks for sharing! This was a hit when I made it for a group last week. Instead of using a wine, could you substitute with a Guinness to change it up a bit?

    2. Dale says:

      These short ribs are awesome, a great recipe! I followed your recipe as written and, when I make it again, I wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you for an amazing short rib recipe!

    3. Deanne says:

      Hi Katerina! How do you think substituting Herbs de Provence for the herbs listed in the recipe, would taste in this dish?

      1. Katerina says:

        Hi! 👋
        I personally would not use it on short ribs or beef recipes, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t. It’s a personal preference. Herbes de Provence is considered an all-purpose seasoning blend, but it’s best used on fish, poultry, lamb, and even stews.

        1. Deanne says:

          Thank you, Katerina! I was just recently given some as a gift, and I’m dying to try it out. Now, I know what kind of proteins to use it with!

    4. Zenell says:

      It came out perfect I’m not a mushroom person I left them out. I will definitely make this again !!

    5. Michele says:

      Very flavorful. Gourmet meal that cooked while I worked. Definitely will do this easy, excellent meal again

      1. Katerina Petrovska says:

        That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

    6. Sherry Nower says:

      I have them in the slow cooker right now. I do have one question though. Since I started this dish late in the day, it’s not going to be ready till 11pm. Can you reheat them in the slow cooker? If so what are the directions. I can’t wait to try it!!

    7. Shaina says:

      Hi how would you adjust this for a 4 quart crock pot?

      1. Katerina says:

        I would use 2-pounds of bone-in short ribs so not to overfill the slow cooker. Ideally, half to two-thirds is as full as you want to fill the insert of your slow cooker.

    8. Darren says:

      Can you use beef country style ribs instead?

      1. Katerina says:

        Hi!
        I don’t recommend them as a substitute for short ribs. They are actually cut from a different part of the cow, and also, they become tough if not cooked properly.