Tender fall-off-the-bone Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs are remarkably rich and make for a show-stopping main entrée for any special occasion. This goof-proof short rib recipe couldn’t be any easier! Recipe includes an Instant Pot option for those who prefer pressure cooking.
If you’re in hot pursuit of a magical dinner recipe that will surely WOW those who try it, you are in the right place!
The best part? Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs are straightforward and easy to prepare.
Fancy food with very little effort!
If you’ve never tried them, short ribs are an absolute miracle.
Think of the best ribs you’ve ever had, but then multiply the amount of meat by tenfold and divide the difficulty with which it takes to eat them by infinity.
Raise the fat factor to the power of 2 and you’re looking at the magnificence known as the short rib.
Serve them with Caramelized Onion & Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Creamy Mashed Rutabaga, or Maple Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes for a real wild ride!
The key ingredient that makes these short ribs so unbelievably amazing is…wait for it, wait for it.
It may sound strange, but cherry juice helps to tenderize the meat, adds very subtle tang and sweetness to offset the richness, and additional depth of flavor, similar to the way wine adds flavor to meat.
Let’s do a deep dive into the very simple ingredients!
Ingredients for Crock Pot Short Ribs:
Beef Short Ribs: Pick up 4 to 5 pounds of beef short ribs, which you can find in the meat section of your grocery store. I always use bone-in short ribs to ensure the meat turns out incredibly flavorful and tender!
If you haven’t made short ribs before, no worries! They are easy to find next to the other cuts of beef, or the person in charge of the meat department can point you in the right direction.
Onion & Garlic: Sautéing onion and garlic before adding it to the slow cooker adds a tremendous amount of flavor! I like to sauté the onion until it’s beginning to turn brown for some of that caramelization action.
Cherry Juice & Chicken Broth: The liquid portion of the recipe. Cherry juice adds tremendous flavor and richness to the beef! It also helps to tenderize it. Use 100% cherry juice with no added sweeteners for the best result.
You could compare the result to recipes made with wine. A deep, rich flavor results, but there is no residual alcohol flavor. This may be nice for folks who appreciate a boldly flavorful meal but choose not to cook with alcohol.
If you’d like, you can use apple cider or pineapple juice in place of the cherry juice. Just be sure it is pure juice and isn’t sweetened. Red wine works too! If you go with red wine, choose a bold varietal such as cabernet sauvignon or Malbec.
Carrots & Mushrooms: Added flavor and substance! I love serving short ribs with mashed potatoes and the cooked veggies adds a nice fresh counterbalance to the otherwise rich meal.
If you’re making this a one-pot meal and omitting any sides, you can cook small yukon gold potatoes in with the short ribs!
Sea Salt: Used to season the beef and the broth, don’t forget the sea salt! Sea salt brings all of the flavors together in one cohesive unit and makes the beef taste even richer.
Rosemary (optional): Adding a touch of earthiness, a sprig of fresh rosemary adds to the flavor profile with zero effort.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs:
Season the short ribs with sea salt on all sides. Heat the avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Wait for a few minutes to allow the skillet to become sizzling hot.
Place the short ribs in the hot skillet on one of the fat sides.
Sear for 3 minutes, then flip and sear for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the cherry juice and chicken broth into the slow cooker. Transfer the seared short ribs into the slow cooker.
Use the same skillet to sauté the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns golden-brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker, along with the carrots, mushrooms, and rosemary. Give everything a jostle so that everything is covered in liquid as much as possible (it’s completely fine if the veggies are poking out!).
Secure the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or high heat for 4 to 6.
Serve with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!
How to Make Gravy For Short Ribs:
Do you love gravy?! You can easily make it out of the liquid in the crock pot.
At the very least, I recommend serving the short ribs with a generous douse of the liquid, but if you would like to turn the juices into gravy, doing so is easy and adds even more sultry appeal to the meal.
Here’s how to do it.
Use a fat separator to remove the fat from the liquid (you’ll want 2 to 3 cups of liquid).
If you don’t have a fat separator, you can try a couple of other methods. If you have a few hours before you’re serving the short ribs, measure out 2 to 3 cups of liquid and refrigerate it until a layer of fat solidifies at the top. Scoop off the fat using a spoon and discard it.
As an alternative, you can use a paper towel to absorb the fat by carefully laying it on top of the liquid. Discard the paper towel and continue this process using unused paper towels until they begin to pick up more liquid than fat.
One more option is to not remove any of the fat! It will make the gravy incredibly rich, albeit fatty. 😉
Transfer 2 to 3 cups of the liquid to a saucepan along with ¼ to ¾ teaspoon of sea salt (to taste), and 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour (use all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, or a gluten-free flour blend). Bring the mixture to a full boil and cook, whisking regularly, until thick and the clumps of flour are out.
If you’d like to add other seasonings like rosemary, garlic powder or onion powder, feel free to do so!
Can I Make This in the Instant Pot?:
If you prefer cooking in the pressure cooker, follow either my Paleo Instant Pot Short Ribs which is very similar to this recipe.
You can also try my Instant Pot Red Wine Short Ribs if you love cooking with wine.
So which is better? Instant Pot or Crock Pot short ribs?
Truthfully, I don’t observe a remarkable difference.
Both methods are incredibly easy and result in a memorable, boldly luxurious meal!
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy these tender, amazingly flavorful slow cooker best beef short ribs as much as I do!
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 4 to 5 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
- 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups cherry juice*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Sprinkle the short ribs with sea salt on all sides. Heat the avocado oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Wait for a few minutes to allow the skillet to become sizzling hot.
- Place the short ribs in the hot skillet on one of the fat sides. Sear for 3 minutes, then flip and sear for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the cherry juice and chicken broth into the slow cooker. Transfer the seared short ribs into the slow cooker.
- Use the same skillet to sauté the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns golden-brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
- Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker, along with the carrots, mushrooms, and rosemary. Give everything a jostle so that everything is covered in liquid as much as possible (it’s completely fine if the veggies are poking out!).
- Secure the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours or high heat for 4 to 6.
- Serve with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!
*You can replace the cherry juice with a dry red wine (such as Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon), or unsweetened apple cider.
Serving Size 1 6-oz. Short Rib
Amount Per Serving
Calories 405Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 15gCarbohydrates 0gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 32g