This easy slow cooker short ribs recipe is the best ever! These beef short ribs are slow-cooked with simple spices and veggies until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender!
Hey Cousins! Today, I’m coming at you with an effortless slow cooker recipe. This is the type of recipe you bust out for special occasions – the kind that makes it seem like you spent all day in the kitchen preparing (but thanks to the slow cooker, you don’t have to!). We’re making tender, juicy, slow cooker short ribs!
I love beef short ribs. However, I don’t like many of the complicated recipes or steps associated with making beef short ribs. So, I’ve come up with the best easy slow cooker short ribs recipe. All you have to do is a little prep, toss everything in the Crock-Pot, and you’re good to go!
What Are Beef Short Ribs?
Beef short ribs are a cut of meat from higher up on the cow, in the shoulder/ribs area. They’re called “short” ribs because the bones inside them are short pieces of rib. Most short ribs have a lot of meat on them – not as much as an average cut of steak, but way more than most beef ribs. When you go to the grocery store, you’ll probably see a few different cuts of short ribs. I use English-style short ribs in this recipe – they’re square chunks of meat. Short ribs should be pretty easy to find in your local grocery store meat department or at your local butcher!
What’s the difference between short ribs and spare ribs?
Short ribs are cut from the cow, and spare ribs are pork – from a pig! Aside from being from different animals, they’re both cut from the same general area. Spare ribs are fattier and come in longer racks of meat and bones, similar to back ribs. Both pork spare ribs and beef short ribs can be prepared the same way and used in the same recipes.
What’s the best cooking method for beef short ribs?
Because of the high fat content, beef short ribs are best for slow cooking and braising. The low-and-slow cooking process breaks down all the fatty connective tissues and turns them into pure flavor. Braised short ribs are incredibly popular. They’re cooked in braising liquid – usually a red wine sauce, beef stock or broth, or water. I don’t consider this recipe a braised beef short ribs recipe because I don’t add any cooking liquid. The only liquid comes from the meat and vegetables, and believe it or not, it’s packed with so much flavor thanks to the seasonings we use!
Ingredients & Equipment for Slow Cooker Short Ribs
So, what do you need to make the most delicious short ribs recipe? Only a few simple ingredients and supplies! We use simple seasonings, fresh herbs, and everyday vegetables to make this quick recipe that only needs a few minutes of prep. You can find the full list of ingredients and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
As far as supplies, you need a large skillet for searing the meat and a slow cooker for cooking. I use my trusty 6-quart slow cooker and slow cooker liners for effortless cleanup. Here’s everything else you need for slow cooker short ribs:
- Beef Short Ribs: I prefer short ribs with bones, but you can easily use boneless short ribs.
- Carrots: I use baby carrots, but you can use regular ones. Just peel them beforehand!
- Onions: I usually use yellow onions, but sometimes I use pearl onions (when I can find them).
- Potatoes: I use peeled Russet potatoes, but smaller red or gold potatoes would also work!
- Red Bell Peppers: I love the crunch, flavor, and color red peppers add.
- Ranch Seasoning & Brown Gravy Mix: my secret ingredients! These flavor the cooking juices and create a delicious sauce to serve over the short ribs.
- Seasoning Salt: y’all know I always use my seasoning salt from Rosamae Seasonings, but if I want a salt-free seasoning, my go-to is Mrs. Dash.
- Rosemary, Thyme, & Bay Leaves: I highly recommend using fresh herbs for flavor if you can.
- Garlic: I use whole garlic cloves and toss ’em in there with everything else.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Vegetables
Beef short ribs recipes don’t have to be complicated! Next time you want a dinner that will impress the whole family, bust out this easy short ribs recipe. It’s the ultimate comfort food – tender meat, a savory sauce, and perfectly cooked veggies – all without spending all day in the kitchen. What more could you want?! Here’s how to make tender, slow-cooked beef short ribs.
- Season the short ribs with your seasoning salt or salt-free blend, and drizzle with olive oil to help the seasonings stick. Make sure each short rib is coated with oil and seasoning.
- Sear the short ribs in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef ribs on each side for about 2-3 minutes until they have a nice brown color.
- Next, I lay everything out on a baking sheet – the chopped veggies, potatoes, and seared short ribs – and sprinkle the ranch seasoning and gravy mix all over everything.
- Transfer everything to the slow cooker, leaving the potatoes for last. I put the potatoes on top so they won’t overcook, become mushy, and fall apart. Top everything off with your herbs – thyme, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves.
- Cover the slow cooker and let it cook on high for 6 hours.
When everything is done, you’ll have tender beef falling off the bone, perfectly cooked veggies, and a tasty sauce full of great flavor. Keep in mind that every slow cooker is different. Some Crock Pots run hot, and some don’t get as hot, so keep an eye on it as it cooks. You could also cook your slow cooker short ribs on low for 8-10 hours.
Slow Cooker Short Ribs Video Tutorial
Want to see exactly how I cook my slow cooker short ribs? Watch my quick 3-minute video tutorial below! Don’t forget to subscribe to I Heart Recipes on YouTube to see more easy slow cooker recipes.
Beef Short Rib Recipe Tips & Tricks
Now, I think this recipe is perfect as is – y’all know I always say the best way is Cousin Rosie’s way! Always follow my original recipe for the best results. However, here are some tips and tricks to make sure your slow-cooked short ribs are perfect every time.
- Don’t skip the searing step! I know it’s an extra step in the recipe, but it’s so worth it when you taste that flavorful, tender beef.
- Don’t have a slow cooker? You can make slow-cooked short ribs on the stovetop in a large Dutch oven over medium to low heat, but you’ll need some braising liquid. If you want really great flavor, use a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon. Otherwise, use beef broth.
- You can’t beat the flavor of fresh herbs! Of course, dried herbs are fine if that’s all you have on hand, but fresh is best here!
- If you want to add another vegetable, try mushrooms! They pair perfectly with the savory, earthly flavors in this recipe.
Why do you sear short ribs before slow cooking?
Giving the beef short ribs a quick sear is a must! Not only does it give the short ribs a great caramelized color, but it adds so much flavor and texture to the dish. Since we only sear the beef for a few minutes, it won’t affect the slow cooking time – you just want to sear them long enough to give them a little color, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Can you overcook short ribs?
Short ribs taste best when cooked for a long time; the longer they cook, the more tender they get. But there is a fine line between perfectly tender and undesirably mushy. You’ll know your short ribs are done when the meat is fork-tender and pulling away from the bone.
How to Store Leftover Slow-Cooked Short Ribs
The best part about this recipe is that you’ll usually have leftovers! Beef short ribs are so meaty, and 3-4 pounds feed a lot of people! Leftover short ribs keep well, so it’s easy to store, reheat, and use leftover short ribs for more recipes.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Make sure to let the short ribs cool a bit before storing them.
- There are a few ways to reheat leftover short ribs. Of course, the trusty microwave is always an option. But the best way to reheat short ribs is in the oven or on the stovetop. Reheat these slow-cooked short ribs in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. On the stovetop, a large Dutch oven or pot will do. Add some broth, water, or leftover sauce to provide some moisture so the short ribs don’t dry out.
- How can you use leftover short ribs? The tender meat should be easy to shred apart. You can use leftovers to make short rib tacos or nachos, short rib mac and cheese, served over mashed potatoes, or mixed together with pasta and sauce.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Short Ribs
With the potatoes and veggies, this recipe is hearty enough to be a main dish. But if you want some easy side dish options, here are a few ideas!
- Serve the short ribs and sauce over mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles, creamy polenta, or cheesy grits.
- Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
- Corn Pudding Casserole
- Green Bean Casserole
- Homemade Sweet Dinner Rolls
More Tasty Slow Cooker Recipes to Try
Get dinner on the table with minimal effort thanks to these easy slow cooker recipes from I Heart Recipes!
- Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Pork Pozole Recipe
- Slow Cooker Smothered Roast
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- Sweet and Smokey Pork Spare Ribs
- Slow Cooker Barbecue Oxtails
Don’t forget to follow along with all things Rosie and I Heart Recipes by following me on social media! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, subscribe to I Heart Recipes on YouTube, and check out all my cookbooks! My brand-new Cousin Rosie Holiday Cookbook is available now!
Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- 3 lbs beef short ribs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb carrots peeled & chopped
- 2 large yellow onions chopped
- 2-3 large russet potatoes washed, peeled, and chopped
- 1 packet ranch seasoning .87 oz. packet
- 1 packet brown gravy mix .87 oz. packet
- 2 tsp seasoning salt OR salt free seasoning I like Mrs. Dash Original
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 spring of fresh thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 red bell peppers sliced
- Toss the short ribs into a large bowl, then drizzle in the olive oil.3 lbs beef short ribs, 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sprinkle the salt-free seasoning or seasoning salt all over the short ribs, then toss the ribs to make sure they are well coated with the oil and seasonings.2 tsp seasoning salt OR salt free seasoning
- In a large stick free skillet, brown the ribs over medium heat.
- Once the ribs are nice and browned remove them from the heat.
- Place the ribs, and chopped potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and peppers in a bowl or on a flat baking sheet.1 lb carrots, 2 large yellow onions, 2-3 large russet potatoes, 2 red bell peppers, 5 cloves of garlic
- Sprinkle the ranch seasoning, and brown gravy mix all over.1 packet ranch seasoning, 1 packet brown gravy mix
- Now toss all of the ingredients (except the potatoes) into the slow cooker.
- Next, add the potatoes and fresh herbs on top of the other ingredients.1 sprig of fresh rosemary, 1 spring of fresh thyme, 3 bay leaves
- Place the lid on the slow cooker, and set on high.
- Let cook for 6 hours.
- During the last hour, giving everything a nice stir.
- Once done sprinkle fresh parsley on top.
- Serve & enjoy!