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.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear short ribs in batches until a dark golden-brown crust forms. Remove ribs and set aside.
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!
For the gravy, strain braising liquid through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cornstarch slurry to the sauce pan and stir to combine. Simmer gravy until it thickens.
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!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 458
- Sugar: 6.7 g
- Sodium: 566 mg
- Fat: 28.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 10.6 g
- Trans Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 20.9 g
- Fiber: 2.7 g
- Protein: 29.9 g
- Cholesterol: 101.8 mg
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!
Is it okay to layer the ribs in the slow cooker?
Can’t wait for the results.
Yes! They will need to overlap a bit in the slow cooker in order to fit them all. Great question, Bob!
My husband loved it!!! Next time ill use a domestic beer
I used a ipa I had to add sugar to get rid of the bite!
It was so yummy 😋
Thank you so much!!
Husband says “it’s a keeper.” That happens only once or twice a year! As good as our local farm to table place, and gravy was excellent. Better than the recipe I had used for years with wine. For non beer drinkers, many stores will sell a single can Of IPA in the mix and match section.
Is there a special prep for the short ribs? I see silver on the ones I purchased, should I remove and trim the fat?
No special prep! I would keep the fat on! Fat = flavor! After the ribs have cooked and you're serving them or shredding them, just remove the fat and discard 🙂
Can I sear the ribs and sauté veg tonight and do the crockpot portion tomorrow?
I would be very hesitant to do this as I think partially cooking the meat and then refrigerating it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. I think you could get away with sauteeing the veg tonight, but I'd wait to sear the ribs until you're ready to cook them fully through. Hope that helps!
You are correct on this. Meat should not be partially cooked and then refrigerated, it must be brought up to full finished temp before refrigeration. Vegetables can be partially cooked. I also think some commentators think braising is the same as searing.
(I got my food service certification 10 years ago so I could supervise fund raising events for our HS music department.)
Made this recipe and used stout beer. Whole lot was ruined due to very bitter taste. Can I fix this and get rid of the bitterness? Carol
Oh nooo, Carol! I'm so sorry to hear that. Was it a stout beer that you enjoy drinking? A hearty stout usually works VERY well for braising beef, especially if it's one that you enjoy drinking on its own! Was the beef itself bitter or just the cooked down braising liquid? I would try adding some salt and if that doesn't work, a couple pinches of sugar. You just need to add another flavor to counteract the bitterness. Unfortunately, if those don't work, I'd recommend using a different beer next time. Perhaps try something that is less bitter when drinking it and a beer that you enjoy drinking. Hope that helps!
If I ever make a mistake, my pug Luis has an enjoyable dinner. I hope you didn’t ruin too much meat, it is so expensive! My favorite beef rib place close down forever, so now I will have to make them myself.I like making them because then my pugs have a supply of bones for a while. And the meat is just delicious. We all love cooking for our dogs, don’t we?
Hi! I really want to make this recipe but I have a question... I know it says to cook it on low for 8 hours but I want to make this on a Friday while I'm at work. If I turned it on high as soon as I left for work, by the time I get back it would be 8 1/2 hours. Would that ruin the food?
If you cook it on HIGH for 8.5 hours, that will overcook the ribs. But if you cook it on LOW for 8.5 hours (just a half hour over the recommended cooking time) it should work just fine! I wouldn't go much longer than 8.5 hours on low if you can help it though. Some crock pots also have the feature where after the cook time is up it just goes to the "warm" setting. So it's not on low or high, just on warm. Hope that helps! Thanks for the question, Kristine!
Fourth time making this recipe - it’s so comforting when the weather gets cool in autumn! But I’ve always wondered... what do I do with the veggies at the end? Are they just for flavor in the cooking process, or do you eat them as a side with the beef, like a veggie hash?
I am so glad you've enjoyed this recipe, Lindsay! Unfortunately, the veggies really are just for flavor. They impart a ton of flavor into the beef as it braises, but try as I might I could never find a suitable use for them afterwards. Honestly, they just don't taste great after they've cooked for so long. I hate to waste food, so I usually give them to my dog with his dinner 🙂 A veggie hash might be worth trying, but give the veggies a little try to see if you like their flavor first!
Delicious!! I can’t wait to make this again. I served it over mashed cauliflower and it was a good combination. I think the sear really made the dish so don’t skip this step.
YUM! Mashed cauliflower would be the perfect accompaniment for these ribs! Could not agree more about the sear step - I think it is vital! Thanks so much for leaving a review, Heather! I really appreciate it 🙂
cooked this over the weekend and we loved it! it might be my husband’s new fave meal. i have a question about all the leftover broth. i had A TON left over! what do you suggest i do with it? i hate to toss it out. would it be suitable to use for a beef stew?
In my experience, this leftover braising liquid can make a good gravy if you reduce it and stir in a cornstarch slurry. Great question Deeanna!
Absolutely delicious! Great flavors and the meat was oh so tender!
Awesome! I am so glad that you enjoyed this one Nicole 🙂 Thanks so much for leaving a review - I really appreciate it!
Hi! Great recipe. Would there be any modifications if using a pressure cooker or instant pot? Thanks!
Great question! I would say you could certainly do these in an instant pot. I myself have not tried it, nor do I have an instant pot so I'm not super familiar with the cooking times. If you've cooked another bone in roast of the same size I would use that same setting and cook time! I'd love to hear how it turns out!
this is probably a stupid question, but the recipe says put the beer in the crock pot, so why are folks commenting on their being "beer braised?" And a related question,how do you get 2 c of fluid from the braising step when all liquid except the oil goes in the crock pot rather than the skillet?
Beer and beef broth act as the braising liquid in this recipe. That is why it is called Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs. Try reading through the instructions again if it seems unclear - the beer and beef broth go into the crock pot to braise the beef. After the meat is braised, you strain the liquid and return all but two cups to the crock pot. Then you make a quick gravy out of the two cups of liquid. Please let me know if I can explain further. Thanks!