20 minutes of prep time is all it takes to get this braised beef short ribs recipe ready for the crock pot and ensure that they come out oh SO juicy and tender that they fall right off the bone.
You Will Love These
- They are the ultimate comfort food! I'm not sure if there is anything more comforting than a plate filled with homemade mashed potatoes, tender shredded beef, and creamy beef gravy.
- They take just 20 minutes to prep and the crock pot does all the work for you! The beef gets a quick sear in olive oil and then the veggies do their thang for a few minutes in the rendered beef fat and that's it! Add beer, broth and bay leaves - the essential B's for every beer braise - set your slow cooker for 8 hours and come back to a hearty, comforting, fall-off-the-bone tender short ribs!
- They're an impressive date night dinner or main dish for your next family holiday get-together! This dish is really something special. I like to serve it for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner because seriously, everyone is SO over the traditional ham and dry turkey that are normally served at these holiday get-togethers. Surprise your friends and family this year with something they'll love!
Ingredients and Substitutions
This crock pot beef short ribs recipe is twofold — the braised short ribs AND the gravy.
For the beer-braised beef short ribs, you’ll need:
- Bone-In Short Ribs — I love short ribs for their fall-off-the-bone tenderness and deep, beefy flavor. But I get that they can be hard to find at times. You can always substitute beef chuck roast! Braising them in the slow cooker makes the cut super tender and juicy, no matter what it is!
- Veggies — I like to use a classic mirepoix — onion, celery, and carrots — for this recipe, along with some garlic. Check your grocery store to see if they offer a pre-diced mirepoix to save on prep time!
- Dried Thyme & Dried Sage — You can also substitute dried rosemary, dried oregano, or Italian seasoning.
- Beer — This recipe is a great excuse to cook with your favorite craft beer (IPA, lager, porter, amber, etc.). Any will do! If you abstain from alcohol, you could also use canned Coca-Cola or an equal amount of extra beef broth.
- Beef Broth — You could also use chicken broth or veggie broth, but beef broth is going to give you the best flavor.
- Bay Leaves — You can omit these if you’re out, but use them if you’re able. They make a big difference!
For the gravy, you’ll need:
- Reserved Broth from Slow Cooker Short Ribs — Aka liquid gold! There is so much flavor here that it’s a shame to not use it; making gravy the perfect solution!
- Corn Starch — This will thicken your gravy - don't skip it!
- Heavy Cream — This also serves as a thickening agent, but it makes the gravy incredibly smooth and rich. Perfect for this short ribs recipe! You can substitute coconut milk if needed to make this dairy-free.
Add onion, carrot, celery, and a large pinch of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add smashed garlic, sage and thyme.
Stir together and cook for one minute.
Transfer veggies to the slow cooker insert.
Add seared beef ribs.
Then pour in your fave beer.
Pour in beef broth and add bay leaves and another couple large pinches of salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours) until the beef falls off the bone and shreds easily. This is a great time to make my mashed potatoes or one-pot mac and cheese to go along with the ribs!
Stir in heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve beef ribs with gravy alongside my super easy garlic mashed potatoes, garnish with fresh parsley and ENJOY!
- You can also skip the slow cooker and make these right in a dutch oven on the stovetop!
- Follow the recipe instructions below, searing the meat and sauteing the veggies and herbs right in the dutch oven.
- Then add remaining ingredients to the dutch oven, bring to a simmer, and COVER.
- Simmer, over medium-low to low heat for about 2.5-3 hours or until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender!
Beef spare ribs are more commonly known as beef back ribs or just beef ribs. These are the longer ribs and are most often associated with barbecued beef ribs and barbecue beef competitions. Beef short ribs, however, are shorter beef ribs taken from the plate cut. The two require different cooking methods. While beef ribs can be braised, roasted, or grilled - short ribs are best braised or slow-cooked.
Because beef short ribs have a higher fat content than beef back ribs, they are best cooked in the slow cooker to ensure that the fat is rendered and flavors the meat evenly. This slow cooker beer-braised beef short ribs recipe is perfect for first-time beef rib cooks and experienced barbecue lovers alike!
Braising is simply the browning of a cut of meat or veggies to get some good color and flavor, and then cooking them submerged in liquid in a covered pot. This is why a crockpot is perfect for braising beef short ribs. Just cook the veggies and sear the meat in a skillet, then toss everything into your slow cooker and simmer all day!
Yes! This ensures that you get that browned crust that will seal in the meat's juices and add another layer of flavor. With ribs, you want a crust on the exterior and a tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone interior.
What to Serve With Short Ribs
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Slow Cooker Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs
These short ribs are tender, juicy and fall right off the bone! They're the perfect easy weeknight meal for your busy family.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 lbs. bone in short ribs
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cups sliced celery
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 12 oz. your favorite craft beer (IPA, lager, porter, amber, etc.)
- 32 oz. beef broth
- 3 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Sear short ribs in batches, cooking them for 1-2 minutes on each side until a dark golden-brown crust forms. Remove ribs from pan and set aside.
- Remove ribs and set aside. Add onion, carrot, celery, and a large pinch of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add smashed garlic, sage, and thyme. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently.
- Transfer veggies to the slow cooker insert. Add seared beef ribs.
- Then add beer, beef broth, bay leaves and another couple large pinches of salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours) until the beef falls off the bone and shreds easily.
- This is a great time to make those mashed potatoes, grits, or mac and cheese.
- Remove three cups of braising liquid from the slow cooker and pour it through a strainer and into a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Combine cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water until dissolved. Add that to the sauce pan and stir to combine.
- Simmer braising liquid over medium to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until it thickens significantly (and almost seems TOO thick). Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve beef and gravy alongside my super easy garlic mashed potatoes and ENJOY!
You can also skip the slow cooker and make these right in a dutch oven on the stovetop! Follow the recipe instructions below, searing the meat and sauteing the veggies and herbs right in the dutch oven. Then add remaining ingredients to the dutch oven, bring to a simmer, and COVER. Simmer, over medium-low to low heat for about 2.5-3 hours or until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender!
Keywords: beer braised short ribs, crock pot beef short ribs
This post was originally published in October of 2018. It was updated in April 2021 to include process shots and tips for making the best beer-braised short ribs every single time!