My Best Crock Pot Short Ribs Recipe

February 10, 2008 27 Comments

How to Make Delicious Short Ribs in Your Crock Pot

Short Ribs are great to prepare in a crock pot and in my opinion should be eaten a day or two after you prepare them. They are easy to make and a great recipe to clean out your refrigerator as you will see.

We met up with my good friend Barbecue Bob and his wife Bert at a local skating rink with their kids for a birthday party my youngest daughter attended. I had these ribs cooked from Thursday night so I asked if they wanted to come over for dinner. Very impromptu.

The ribs were cooked in the crock pot all Thursday night on the lower setting. In total they cooked for over 9 hours. Maybe too long for some and yes all the meat fell off the bones but it wasn’t over cooked or dried out.

I put the meat into two separate containers figuring I would serve one on Saturday and freeze the other for another night before inviting our friends over. By refrigerating the short ribs over night, it allowed the flavors to meld and the fat to rise to the top so it could be removed easily with a spoon. This is a great way to get rid of most of the fat from your soups, stews and braises.

Short Ribs

English Style Short Ribs

Brown Short Ribs

Sear the Short Ribs

Fennel and Cremini Mushrooms

Sauteed Leeks Onions and Garlic

Saute Fennel, Onions and Garlic

Sauteed Mushrooms

Saute Mushrooms

Crock Pot Short Ribs

Adding All the Ingredients to the Crock Pot

Crock Pot Short Ribs Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Crock Pot Short Ribs Recipe


2 pounds short ribs (I used the the long, Flanken Style, but use what you have)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bulb fennel, sliced

2 cups crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and cut in half

1 can diced tomatoes (you can use fresh, of course)

1/2 cup port

3/4 cup brown stock

kosher salt and pepper, to taste

How To Prepare At Home

For this recipe, I browned the ribs, a few at a time, in a fry pan with a little bit of olive oil and butter. Once they were browned, I removed them from the pan and put them into the crock pot.

Next time I prepare this, I may put them aside, prep and prepare the rest of the ingredients, put these ingredients into the crock pot and the ribs on top. I'm not sure if it would make a difference but if you happen to know, please comment below.

Next I deglazed the pan with some port wine, let the wine cook down to an essence and then sautéed the onions, garlic and fennel in a little olive oil. I added all this to the crock pot on top of the ribs.

I then sautéed the mushrooms that my daughter de-stemmed, cleaned and sliced in half. These were added to the pot.

With the sautéing done, I added a can of diced tomatoes and 3/4 cup of brown stock to the crock pot and seasoned everything with salt and pepper.

Add the cover and let it cook until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Do you have to cook it for 9 hours? No, I'm sure it was fine to eat in 5 hours but I was going to bed and didn't want to fuss with it. You could also make a dish like this in the morning have have it ready by the time you get home for work.

After removing the fat that floated to the top and congealed, we reheated the short ribs and sauce in a large sauce pot on the stove over low heat.

My wife and I served the short ribs in shallow bowls over delicious mashed potatoes and served sautéed spinach on the side. All very simple and easy to make while entertaining. Everyone loved this simple recipe.

The meat and sauce had tons of flavor. The mashed potatoes with the sauce were excellent and I think it was the best sautéed spinach I've ever prepared. A crusty loaf of French bread doesn't hurt either.

A great meal especially for cold weather.

Last modified on Mon 30 October 2017 12:38 pm

Filed in: Beef Recipes

Comments (27)

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  1. Faux Wood Blinds Gal says:

    Love this easy short rib crockpot recipe. Thanks for sharing:-)

  2. Leftover Loaf Meat Recipe says:

    I found your blog via Google while searching for leftover loaf meat recipe and your post regarding Crock Pot Short Ribs Recipe looks very interesting to me. I always enjoy coming to this site because you offer great tips and advice for people like me who can always use a few good pointers. I will be getting my friends to pop around fairly soon.

  3. Harriette says:

    Make something like this except plan ahead and dry rub the ribs with creole seasoning wrap in plastic and refegerate for a couple of hours or overnight then proceed much the same

  4. jon h says:

    Kick butt! I’m going to go try this now. Always looking for new delicious proteins for my crock pot. Thanks for the recipe. You truly understand the essence of crock pot cooking my friend. “Toss it in and wait for the deliciousness” its like cooking with patience. Sincerely- jh fort worth, texas

  5. billy says:

    Can you be more specific about the amounts you used? I don’t see what you did with the fennel or how much you used. And in the photo, what’s the green stuff, green pepper?

    thanks in advance, it sounds delicious

  6. Melody says:

    trying this 2nite!

  7. Ray E. Johnston says:

    Thanks, I am usually working with less expensive cuts of meat, eye of round, rump, and such other cuts that keep under 5 bucks per pound. I have a rump in the refrigerator now and will try your approach, I generally use Asian spices but will go for the creole/lemon approach. I will keep it in the fryer till the veges prepared. will let U know.

  8. RG says:

    Harriette – Thanks for sharing your tips, good ideas.

    Jon H – great enthusiasm. Let us know how it turned out.

    Billy – most of my recipes have the amounts I’ve used, but this is one I just winged. The recipe and article talk about everything I used, but you’ll have to use your own cooking experience to determine how much to use.

    Melody – how did it turn out?

  9. RG says:

    Great, looking forward to your comments Ray.

  10. deirdre says:

    This looks great… I have had these ribs in the freezer without knowing what to do with them. As a new mommy with two other kids, this sounds like a great meal with little work involved!!

  11. RG says:

    Hi Deirdre, it really is an easy recipe to throw together, leave alone with amazing results. Let us know how it turns out.

  12. AM says:

    Looks good, will try it. Yes, meat is supposed to go on top in a slow cooker, veggies on the bottom. Don’t know why but that’s what the slow cooker guidebooks say…

  13. Chef Frank says:

    20 years of cooking , never done short ribs….or used my wife’s crock pot….i added a few more spices and carrots….the house smell good already, it’s snowing outside…something tells me we will have a great dinner. cheers

    Hey Chef Frank, isn’t it great to try new ingredients and new techniques. Hope you enjoyed your ribs on your cold and snowy night. – RG

  14. lily says:

    This recipe was AMAZING! I didn’t have red wine to deglaze the pot but I did use some white wine I had in the fridge.

    I followed your instructions and cooked them overnight, then re heated the next evening for dinner. I was able to scrape off all the fat that raised to the top when it cooled. This is such a great IDEA! I had both boneless and bone in ribs in the crock pot which made for some yummy broth. I also did not have beef broth so I used chicken instead. No biggie.

    I will make this recipe over and over from here on out. Thank you!!!

    Hi Lily, that’s fantastic and thank you for letting me know about the substitutions. – RG

  15. Danielle says:

    I found this recipe when searching for cooking time for short ribs in a crock pot and wondered if you think mine will come out any differently because I didn’t fry them in a pan before I put them in the cooker. They’ve been in about two hours already so it’s too late but if you have any thoughts to share it would be appreciated. Hopefully they still come out good.

    I’m sure they will be fine. You won’t get the same color that you get when you sear them and you may loose just a fractionally small amount of flavor from the caramelization process, but in the end, it should be great. Let us know. – RG

  16. randy says:

    If you put the ribs in the bottom of the pot they will fall apart when you try to take them out . Put them on top they will still cook the same, but when you take them out they will come out in one piece and not fall apart.

    Good tip Randy. Thanks – RG

  17. Gloria says:

    I make short ribs very similar to the way you do, but don’t use fennel. I will try that next time.I have a helpful hint: Instead of frying short ribs, which are full of fat anyway, season ribs put on a foil lined cookie sheet & broil ’til brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. This helps remove quite a bit of the fat.

    Hi Gloria, thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a try next time. – RG

  18. Avery says:

    Long time reader, first time poster: short ribs were excellent. I slammed a bottle of a good IPA into the pot and plenty of herb de Provence. I also dredged it the ribs in flour prior to browning. Turned out fantastically. I too cooked them for 9 hours and would repeat.

    Thanks for helping us with our meal plan; it was a real treat.

    You are very welcome and thanks for sharing your variations. For those of you not familiar with IPA, it stands for Indian Pale Ale. – RG

  19. Silverspoon says:

    Wonderful, wonderful! Cooked 2 days ago refrigerated & heated for tonight. Served over polenta with steamed broccoli. Sooo good!

    Thanks for letting me know. – RG

  20. Sandra says:

    Anxious to make this…sounds wonderful. Love your style of writing and explanation – very descriptive, but yet to the point. Love it.. And of course, you respond to your followers.. Don’t see that very often. Cheers to you!! :O)

    Thank Sandra, much appreciated. Please be sure to tell your culinary friends to visit. – RG

  21. david says:

    I frequently braise using a mirepoix (Carrot/onion/celery) or Holy Trinity (Onion/Celery/Bell Pepper) which is very similar to what you used. I bastardize the mirepoix by adding garlic and whatever other aromatics I have at hand. The mirepoix is not intended to be eaten (although it can and I usually do) but rather to serve as a foundation for aormatic moisture and to keep the meat off of the bottom of the pan.
    If I’m overly motivated, I’ll strain the solids out of the mushy veggies and pan drippings and reduce over med-hi heat (maybe add a lil wine or cordial liquor) into a sauce for the meat.

    As for the searing or pan frying the meat prior to braising: definite must. The logic is to create a searing seal on all sides of the meat to help lock in moisture. -Enjoy

    Hi David, thanks for the cooking tips. I used to agree with the searing to seal idea but after many emails and doing my own research (McGee plus other books), I now say the searing is more about caramelizing than sealing in any juices. I know a lot of cookbooks say to sear to seal, but the science of cooking seems to disagree. – RG

  22. Gloria says:

    Just discovered you. I had just been thinking about the issue of meat on top of veggies or on the bottom in the crock pot. I used to do meat on the bottom then read where it should be on the top. After years of both I believe I like meat on the bottom…seems like it reflavors itself better. My imagination? I’m sure either works but I like hearing the opinions. Great site.

  23. Debbie says:

    cooked ribs on top of stove. Still tough. Can I put them into a crock pot for a few more hours or is that going to contaminate? Please advise

    I’m not so sure that is the best way at this point. Takes a long time for that crock pot to warm up. How about trying the method I use for barbecue ribs where you steam them in a covered roasting pan with a little beer. Check out – RG

  24. Elio Levy says:

    Will try the recipe with lamb shoulder parts I just bought from my butcher, might use rosemary, thyme and a full head of garlic sliced in half … wish me luck !

    Good luck Elio. Let me know how it turns out. – RG

  25. Elio Levy says:

    The dish was a great success, might reduce cooking time to 2 from 2.5 hours.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  26. Brandy says:

    Perfect! We have had these in the freezer for a while with no clue what to do with them! Now, I’m excited to use them! AND we were just commenting and inquiring why some were long and some were short! Well, thanks for answering that too! Can’t wait to make this!

  27. Cindy says:

    Yummmmmmy…had these Flanken ribs and didn’t have a clue what to do with them. Read that they can be tough with other recipes….but this recipe was so delicious! The meat was falling off the bone. Will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you

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