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Slow Cooker Short Ribs – simple to make short ribs slowly cooked in beer with carrots and parsnips, plus instructions for the Instant Pot or oven. Fall off the bone tender and delicious.

overhead shot of short ribs with carrots and parsnips in a large white bowl garnished with rosemary

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

This here, is a great weeknight dinner and easy one at that. One where you put all the ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on and forget about for 8 hours. OK you do have to sear the ribs first to get that nice brown color on them but it doesn’t take long and you can do this the night before – easy!

I love to cook with short ribs, especially when I whip them up in a slow cooker. They’re a super flavorful, resilient cut of meat that holds up well to that low and slow method of cooking. When you toss in some carrots and parsnips, well you’ve got a whole entire meal on your hands!

One that’s oh so comforting.

What Exactly Are Short Ribs?

Short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the brisket, chuck, plate or rib areas of beef. They are the equivalent of spare ribs in pork. Beef short ribs are usually larger and meatier than pork spare ribs. There are different types of short ribs, boneless, Flanken or English. For this recipe we use English-style short ribs.

Ingredient Notes

  • Short ribs – Bone in beef chuck short rib, English-style, the only cut for this recipe!
  • Herbs – Just rosemary and thyme today, we want herbs that hold up to low and slow cooking, plus some parsley for garnish.
  • Veggies – Carrots, onions, and parsnips. Parsnips add some great earthy and nutty flavor here.
  • Guinness – 2 whole bottles of the super dark beer, this will give tons of flavor, depth, and dimension to our dish. You can substitute with beef broth if preferred.
  • Worcestershire – Just a bit of this sauce again for flavor. This will add dimension and umami to our short ribs. If you don’t have it you can replace it with soy sauce.
  • Oil – We want a neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point to brown our short ribs in.

How to make short ribs in the slow cooker

  1. Sear the short ribs: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper generously. When the oil is hot, brown the short ribs, in batches, until they are browned on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  2. Braise the ribs: While the short ribs are browning, place a layer of onion and carrot pieces into the bottom of a slow cooker and season them with salt and pepper. Place the browned meat on top. Add the remaining onions and carrots along with the parsnips and herbs. Add Worcestershire and pour over the stout and add enough water to almost cover the contents. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  3. Serve: To serve, carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker. Strain the juices. Serve the ribs with the juice and garnish with chopped parsley leaves.

FAQs & Expert Tips

FAQS

What can I use instead Guinness?

Guinness is a classic Irish stout with a deep dark brown color topped with a rich, dense head when poured. While the color may intimidate you, the flavor is surprisingly light. It’s a velvety smooth treat! If you would like to substitute the beer in this recipe, I would try to stick to Irish stouts. Another great way to braise short ribs is to use a red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or a Zinfandel. For a non-alcoholic substitute use a low sodium beef broth.

Can I make these short ribs in the oven?

You can definitely make these short ribs super easily in the oven! Follow the directions just as above but pop the ingredients in a dutch oven instead and cook at 375 F degrees for 2 – 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Can I make these short ribs in the pressure cooker?

You’ll want to follow the directions outlined above, including browning and sautéing right in the pressure cooker on its sauté setting. Assemble the ingredients in the pot, make sure to scrape the brown bits from the inner pot once the broth is added! Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally before serving!

What is braising?

Braising involves dry and moist cooking methods. You first begin by searing the meat and baking it/slow cooking it in a bath of liquid for until tender. This makes meat super moist and tender.

TIPS

  1. When buying short ribs, buy the ones with the bones still attached because not only are they cheaper, but they add a ton of flavor in cooking.
  2. It’s not necessary to trim the fat off the short ribs because it will keep the meat moist while cooking, plus it will melt off during cooking.
  3. Pad dry the short ribs with paper towels first then season them generously, this is the first trick to flavorful braised ribs.

How To Serve

This entree pairs greatly with a lot of delicious side dishes, so if you’d like some mouthwatering options, try out these:

  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes
  • Roasted Veggies
  • White Beans With Bacon And Herbs
  • Creamy Polenta
  • Tuscan White Beans
  • Butter Biscuits

Leftovers

Store leftover short ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

FREEZING

You can also freeze these ribs, also stored in an airtight container or freezer bags. They will last in the freezer, if properly stored, for up to 2 months.

a large white bowl filled with short ribs, carrots and parsnips

SLOW COOKER SHORT RIBS RECIPE

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 8 hrs 30 mins | Total: 8 hrs 40 mins | Serves: 6
Slow Cooker Short Ribs – simple to make short ribs slowly cooked in beer with carrots and parsnips. Fall off the bone tender and delicious.

EQUIPMENT

  • 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
  • 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 lbs beef chuck short ribs bone-in
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1 medium onion peeled and quartered
  • 2 large carrots cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips cut into large chunks
  • 2 sprigs rosemary fresh
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley stems and leaves separated
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bottles dark stout beer 2 12-ounce bottles, such as Guinness

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Brown the short ribs: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, brown the short ribs, in batches, until they are browned on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Braise the ribs: While the short ribs are browning, place a layer of onion and carrot pieces into the bottom of a slow cooker and season them with salt and pepper. Place the browned meat on top. Add the remaining onions and carrots along with the parsnips and herbs. Add Worcestershire and pour over the stout and add enough water to almost cover the contents. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  • Finish and Serve: To serve, carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker. Strain the juices. Serve the ribs with the juice and garnish with chopped parsley leaves.

VIDEO

RECIPE NOTES

  1. When buying short ribs, buy the ones with the bones still attached because not only are they cheaper, but they add a ton of flavor in cooking.
  2. It’s not necessary to trim the fat off the short ribs because it will keep the meat moist while cooking, plus it will melt off during cooking.
  3. Pad dry the short ribs with paper towels first then season them generously, this is the first trick to flavorful braised ribs.
  4. Oven instructions: You can definitely make these short ribs super easily in the oven! Follow the directions just as above but pop the ingredients in a dutch oven instead and cook at 375 F degrees for 2 – 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  5. Instant Pot Instructions: You’ll want to follow the directions outlined above, including browning and sautéing right in the pressure cooker on its sauté setting. Assemble the ingredients in the pot, make sure to scrape the brown bits from the inner pot once the broth is added! Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally before serving!
  6. Store leftover short ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  7. You can also freeze these ribs, also stored in an airtight container or freezer bags. They will last in the freezer, if properly stored, for up to 2 months.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1servingCalories: 406kcal (20%)Carbohydrates: 17g (6%)Protein: 33g (66%)Fat: 19g (29%)Saturated Fat: 9g (56%)Cholesterol: 98mg (33%)Sodium: 352mg (15%)Potassium: 911mg (26%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 4081IU (82%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 47mg (5%)Iron: 4mg (22%)
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