Slow Cooker braised beef short ribs combine classic, simple ingredients to create the most tender, melt in your mouth meat. Served with creamy Parmesan polenta.
Sometimes the most simple ingredients bring out the best flavors in a recipe. These slow cooker braised beef short ribs are so tender they just melt in your mouth. Rustic, rich flavors made in the Crock-pot. I really can’t believe that this little machine bangs out restaurant-quality food.
Classic Italian ingredients make a wonderfully flavorful sauce for the short ribs. I used garlic, onions, tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and olive oil. That’s it! Each boneless short rib gets nestled into the sauce in the slow cooker, and it’s ready to braise.
I wish you could smell how great the aromas are from this dish. Jason and I were seriously salivating all day. I couldn’t wait to lift the lid and see if the beef was as tender as I hoped. I guarantee that it was!
My Crock-Pot can hold up to 6 quarts. This recipe filled up about half of the container. There are typically two settings, low or high. I chose the high setting, which took just about 5 hours to cook. In that time, I was able to load up the Crock-Pot, set the built-in timer, workout, clean the house, have lunch and pour a glass of wine at about 4 pm.
It was awesome! Who knew a slow cooker would be a mom’s best friend. If you have more errands or activities going on in your busy day, cook on low for about 8 hours. The slow cooking method really did a great job braising each piece of short rib.
The meat is so tender that you have to carefully lift each one out of the vessel holding it together so it won’t fall apart. The sauce that’s created in the process melds all of the savory flavors from the beef with the sweet ripe tomatoes and pungent garlic. It’s helpful to use a fat separator to capture the juices from the sauce.
The simmered whole peeled tomatoes get broken into large chunks, then combined back with as much juice as you like. Fresh chopped basil and parsley adds a hint of garden freshness to the dish.
No knife required! Each piece of braised short rib effortlessly flakes off and is so delicious. Right before serving, I made a creamy polenta packed with Parmesan cheese. It took about 10 minutes to make and was an ideal combination to serve with this braised beef short ribs recipe.
We lucked out and had leftovers for the next day. With all that extra marinating, the dish was even tastier. I shredded the beef into the leftover tomato sauce and served it on top of fresh fettuccine noodles and cheese, oh wow. I think I’ve got myself in a bit of a mess because now the hubby is requesting this meal once a week!
Slow Cooker meals you might also like
Why are short ribs good for braising?
Short ribs are higher in fat and collagen, making it a perfect candidate for braising. Short rib meat can sometimes be a tougher cut depending on the thickness and if the bone is included. If you are working with thicker cuts of meat, braising over a low temperature for a long time in a covered vessel has benefits. The moisture and time can help slowly dissolve the collagen into gelatin creating a rich sauce, break down some of the tough connective tissues, and tenderize the meat. (Source: The Science of Good Cooking)
Pin this recipe to save for laterPin This
Slow Cooker Braised Beef Short Ribs
- 3 cups yellow onion, medium diced
- 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes, drained, (1 can)
- 2 ½ pounds beef short ribs, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2-inches wide and 1-inch thick
- kosher salt, as needed
- black pepper, as needed
- ½ cup basil, chopped fresh
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped fresh
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup instant polenta
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine onions, garlic, tomato paste, oil, oregano, and pepper flakes in bowl and microwave, occasionally stirring, until onions are softened (about 5 minutes) then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Stir in tomatoes. Season ribs with salt and pepper and nestle into the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook until ribs are tender, 8 to 9 hours on Low, or 5 to 6 hours on High.
- Transfer the ribs to a serving dish and tent with aluminum foil.
- Strain sauce into a fat separator, reserving tomatoes and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer reserved tomatoes to the now-empty slow cooker and break into large chunks with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in defatted sauce and some of the garlic and onion mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Make cheesy polenta just before serving the meal. Instant polenta will firm up if it sits too long after cooking. Bring 2 cups water, 2 cups milk and salt to boil in a large saucepan.
- Slowly whisk in 1 cup of instant polenta. Cook, constantly stirring, until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add some cheesy polenta to each plate, add a few pieces of short ribs, pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with basil and parsley.
- If you don't have a fat separator, allow the juice to sit in a bowl for at least 10 minutes, and then use a spoon to skim the fat off the top and discard.
Want to save this recipe?
Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.
Tried this recipe?
Tag @jessica_gavin on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!