These Slow Cooker Short Ribs are fall off the bone tender, savory hunks of meaty perfection.
It’s not very often I get to enjoy a personal cooking lesson from a head chef plus get to take home one of the actual recipes used in a high-end restaurant, but this is one of those times. These slow cooker short ribs are perfection!
Let me back up. I’ve enjoyed a partnership with the Ohio Beef Council for two years now. I develop family-friendly recipes for them and they invite me on fun trips to visit Ohio beef farms and eat delicious food and drink amazing cocktails in some of Columbus, Ohio’s finest restaurants (thanks Cameron Mitchell). I personally think I’m getting the better end of the deal.
Watch how to make Slow Cooker Short Ribs:
Before I tell you how to create these amazing short ribs in your own kitchen, I want to tell you about cows and the families who raise them. On my most recent trip with some fellow Ohio bloggers I visited two family-run farms.
Dusty Rose Farm
Jim and Dee Jespen own and operate Dusty Rose Farm in Fairfield County, Ohio where they manage 850 acres of crops and 60 beef cows. Their two daughters are recent college grads who plan to work in beef farming as well.
The Jespen’s gave us a field tour and talked about herding the cows to greener pastures as they graze and the trust they build with the families who buy their freezer beef. They work hard and their farm is truly a labor of love. Their income is supplemented by Dee’s position as a professor at The Ohio State University.
We also visited Hoffman Farms. Christian Hoffman and his father operate their 700-head feedlot together. They grow the typical mix of corn and soybeans on their land to feed their beef cows. They tend to plant two crops per year in the same field. Double cropping allows the family to sell grain, while keeping enough on hand for feed.
The Hoffmans also grow barley, wheat and sorghum and experiment with mixes to optimize their cows’ health while at the same time being good stewards of their land. It was fascinating to hear the effort that goes into feeding the cows and learning about silage – which is fermented grain. The various grains are packaged “wet” and ferment so they are soft and sweet – easier for the cows to digest.
Both family farms addressed one of the biggest concerns of all farmers which is feeding an ever growing world population. Did you know less than two percent of the population is directly employed in agriculture? That’s a very small amount of people growing a very large amount of food. When you start thinking about all these implications you realize there’s a lot to consider in terms of managing all the pieces of the puzzle – for the health and well being of both people and animals. And I’d say Ohio beef farmers are managing it all very well.
After the farm visits we enjoyed an amazing progressive dinner at three of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants in downtown Columbus in the Short North – Marcella’s, The Guild House and The Pearl. We were accompanied on our tasting of local beef dishes and the most amazing craft cocktail sampling I’d ever experienced by both Peter Chapman (head regional chef for Cameron Mitchell restaurant group) and Andrea Hoover (beverage operations manager).
Of all the dishes we sampled (and learned to cook the next morning) my favorite was the simply rustic yet perfectly prepared short ribs. I was provided the official restaurant recipe but I decided to convert it to a slow cooker recipe for home use.
Beef is what’s for dinner often in our household. And these short ribs are a simple to prepare dish that taste like fancy restaurant food. I hope you’ll try them! And be assured the next time you are purchasing beef at your grocery store that it was thoughtfully prepared by family farmers dedicated to feeding you nutritious and delicious beef.
Tips for Slow Cooker Short Ribs:
- I use an 8-quart slow cooker similar to this one to cook my short ribs.
- You want to buy English style short ribs for this recipe.
- Here’s a definition for Mirepoix.
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Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- 8 beef short ribs
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 1/2 apple peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
- Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown on both sides. Cook in two batches so as not to crowd the pan.
- Transfer the browned short ribs to a slow cooker set to LOW heat.
- Drain the oil but do not wipe the pan clean. You want the browned bits left in for flavor.
- Return the pan to medium high heat and add the chopped onion, carrot and celery and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the apple and cook for one minute more.
- Add the wine and orange juice and cook for one minute.
- Add the tomato paste. Stir well to combine and cook for one minute.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in one half a teaspoon of both salt and pepper to the chicken broth and vegetable mixture.
- Pour the chicken broth mixture over the browned short ribs in the slow cooker and cover with a lid.
- Cook on LOW heat for 8 - 10 hours, or until ribs are fork tender. Serve over mashed potatoes.
More delicious recipes using Ohio Beef:
- Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- Slow Cooker Short Rib Sunday Gravy
- Instant Pot Bolognese Pasta Sauce
- Grilled Short Ribs with Asian Peanut Sauce
- Reverse Sear Filet Mignon with Champagne Butter Sauce
Cambell Parrish says
This recipe is a must-have! The flavor is luscious and it is so easy to make. If you make this once you will make it a dozen times!
I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe Cambell. Short ribs are the best!
This looks amazing! I love the message of this blog! Would you mind if I shared it on our farm page? My family runs a small Ohio beef farm also and I would love to post this on our Facebook page if it is okay with you.
YES! I welcome the shares. Thanks so much for asking Alyson!
I need to try these! I’ve never made ribs before, and think throwing them in the slow cooker would be a great intro into making ribs, it seems foolproof!
Yes, this is just the recipe you need to start with. Enjoy!
Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme says
This sounds SO good! Love short ribs, they’re one of my favorite cuts. And you’re so right, we need more family farms to feed all these people.
So glad you agree! Thank you Eden!
Edyta at Eating European says
I love how slow cooker makes meat so tender. This is a great recipe. I will be making it soon.
Happy to hear this. Thank you!
This makes me hungry! What a great comfort food for a cold weather. I bet these would be a great filling in tacos.
I love this idea – as a filling for tacos!
Susan Venditti says
I made this yesterday and it was good. I agree with some others that it could use more flavor particularly beef flavor. After I took the short ribs out of slow cooker I blended the veggies and broth to make a gravy and thickened it by making a roux first. I think if you used beef stock rather than chicken stock it would be better. I would make again but maybe play around with the gravy a bit. Thanks for an easy dinner!
I appreciate your suggestions Susan. Everyone’s palates and tastes are different. To add more beef flavor, I personally like Beef Consommé (it’s a 10 oz can in the Campbell’s soup section of the store) instead of beef broth.
Do you use boneless short ribs or bone-in?
Bone in, English cut short ribs.
Morgan Eisenberg says
wow, talk about farm to table!
Yes – the best way to eat!
What a great pot! The farm visits sound really fun. So interesting to hear what you learned. Can’t wait to make this recipe.
Farm visits are one of my favorite job perks 🙂 Come back and let us know what you think once you try the short ribs!
Andrea Metlika says
The short ribs look so fall off the bone fabulous!
Yes they are. Thanks Andrea!
I keep seeing recipes for short ribs, and I cannot wait to try this one! It looks amazing, and anything in a slow cooker is a hero in my house on school nights!
Agree. I can’t live without my slow cooker, especially during the school year. Thank you Katie!
I loved reading this post and seeing the pictures of the cows, they are such cool animals. The recipe looks fabulous, I want to run out and get the ingredients right away, yum thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad you enjoyed my story. Cows are definitely cool animals 🙂 I hope you try the short ribs!
Catherine Brown says
That looks delicious… so tender and flavorful! Love that pile of fluffy potatoes too. 🙂
The fluffy potatoes are a MUST. Thank you Catherine!
Can I cook these the day before? If so, how would you recommend re-heating. Thanks
Yes. I would just leave them in the slow cooker insert to refrigerate it. Then pop the insert back into the slow cooker and reheat it that way.
Denise Bingham says
Made this tonight. I did not use a crockpot but instead baked in the oven for 4 1/2 hrs @ 250 degrees. Meat fell of the bone.
It was DELISH! Thank you for sharing.
So fantastic to hear. And especially that the short ribs turned out equally delicious in the oven. Thanks very much for commenting!
Can you do this in an instant pot.
I think you can. But I’m not sure on the timing since I haven’t done it myself.
What type of APPLE do you recommended for this recipe?
It really doesn’t matter. Any variety of apple that you like and can easily find at your grocery store.
This looks amazing! I plan to try this recipe for a family party this weekend. I already bought boneless short ribs. Can I use this recipe? Do I need to make any adjustments?
I’m sorry for the late reply. Hopefully you went with the boneless short ribs. There should not have been any adjustments needed.
How long do you cook the ribs if you are only using 4 ribs? We are a small family and I wanted to make sure not to over cook.
It’s just about getting them to the “fall apart tender” stage. I’d check four ribs at about 6 hours. And then keep cooking if needed (or not). Regardless of a smaller quantity, ribs still need a fair amount of time in the slow cooker to break down.