Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

I’ve got a make-at-home version of one of my favorite restaurant dishes for you today. I guarantee if short ribs are on the menu, I am eyeing it! It’s hard to beat that falling-off-the-bone tender meat combined with delicious, cooked veggies and flavorful, rich gravy. The ultimate comfort food! If you’ve never made braised short ribs at home before, this is a perfect first-timer’s way to try it. Hard to go wrong when you’re using your slow cooker! Plus, come the end of the day, it’s such a treat to have all the dinner prep behind you.

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs served over polenta

Short Ribs on 100 Days of Real Food

Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

Inspired by Owen's Red-Wine-Braised Short Ribs in Good Housekeeping Magazine
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 8 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups broth chicken, beef or veggie will do (can also use stock)
  • 6 sprigs thyme stems removed and discarded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds carrots peeled, trimmed, and cut in half both longways and crossways


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper to taste. Brown the short ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary, 6 to 8 minutes total. Add to slow cooker.
  • Turn the skillet down to medium heat and add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook the onions while stirring until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste to the pan. Stir while mashing down the tomato paste for another minute (do not allow the garlic to burn).
  • Carefully pour the red wine into the skillet and let it boil down for 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape into the slow cooker. 
  • Pour the broth/stock on top of the short ribs and sprinkle in the seasonings. Lay the carrots on top, cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. 
  • It's highly recommended to make a gravy out of the finished cooking juices (you can find my tried and true gravy recipe below). Serve over a quick and easy polenta, if desired, or mashed potatoes.


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 503 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 122mg41%
Sodium 774mg34%
Potassium 1251mg36%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 19160IU383%
Vitamin C 9.4mg11%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 6.2mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Here’s my gravy recipe mentioned above, and a video to go along with it.

Video: How to Make Homemade Gravy in 3 Easy Steps!

Homemade Gravy

It's easy to make delicious, homemade gravy.
4.9 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 13 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4 servings (1/4 cup each)


  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat separated from roasting pan juices or slow cooker juices OR butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup juices from the roasting pan, fat removed. You can also use chicken broth.
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • Separate the cooking fat from the pan juices - a gravy/fat separator makes this job easy.
  • Heat the cooking fat (or butter) over medium-low heat until melted. Carefully whisk in the flour to help avoid clumps. Cook until the mixture darkens in color, about 1 to 2 minutes. This step is called making a roux.
  • Whisk in the pan juices (or broth) and bring to a light boil. Cook while whisking occasionally until the gravy reduces and thickens. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm over meat or potatoes.



We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Gravy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 74 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Sodium 32mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 2g4%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs ready to cook in a slow cooker
Ready to go in the slow cooker so you can have the evening off!

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7 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs”

  1. 5 stars
    Love it! I have made this recipe twice so far. Super easy, smells amazing and tastes delicious! I also make mashed potatoes and green beans to go with it.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I love your blog and your ideas for healthy lunchbox options. I have a question – when you pack stuff like pizza, or foods with cheese or meat, are they a food safety concern if they’re not refrigerated or kept warm for 4.5 hours before they eat? I do use a good thermos and preheat with hot water for soups, but don’t know what to do with hot dogs & items that don’t fit. Or am I paranoid? :) Thanks.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Lisa uses ice packs in lunch boxes to keep most foods cool. She uses the thermos for soups, oatmeal and such.

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