Winter is trying SO HARD to hold on, but the warm days just keep coming. As spring beckons, I find it necesary to pay my respects to winter for actually showing up this year, and making me appreciate the sunshine and warm weather so much more. It was COLD this year! Cold enough to make me hibernate inside most days, and really get down on some home-cooked comfort food. Hibernating inside also allowed me to test out some new variations of short ribs, and I am so glad that happened. These little guys are mm. MM! I love them. So, these slow cooker beef ribs are my offering to the cold weather gods. Thank you for your time, but please take these as a parting gift. We are all done here.
I’ve made many variations of slow cooker beef short ribs before, but this … THIS is my one and only for 2018. It is divine. With a few unexpected ingredients such as sriracha, ketchup, and soy sauce, they grasp onto a light touch of Asian influence and heat. The brown sugar adds a soft, sweet balance to the acidity and heat from the aforementioned ingredients. Then a rich, hearty beef broth ties everything together and encompasses the expectations of your comfort food dreams.
Now that I’m focusing on small batch recipes, I purchased a a small 3-quart slow cooker. I LOVE it, because it cooks smaller amounts of food much more evenly than the larger slow cookers. But Just like the slow cooker beef short ribs I’ve made in the past, I still use crockpot / slow cooker liners. If you haven’t used them before, do yourself a favor. Rather than cleaning out a bulky pot, you just lift the liner out of the slow cooker and throw it away. That’s it. It’s AWESOME.
This recipe calls for four bone-in short ribs, which is what you’ll typically find pre-packaged at the store. Only making four allows them to fit perfectly inside my little slow cooker. If you’re using a smaller slow cooker like me, stand the short ribs up inside of it. Don’t lay them flat, because you don’t want to stack them upon each other. Just arrange them so their longer sides are parallel with the walls of the slow cooker, or “stand them up on end”. They fit perfectly this way!
The beef broth mixture completely envelops the beef short ribs as you pour it on top of them. Because the liquid surrounds every surface of every short rib, the meat becomes incredibly tender and falls off the bone once they are cooked. Heaven. Ahh. Pair this with my parmesan risotto, garlic mashed potatoes for two, or even these creamy, spicy brussels sprouts. Soak up the last of the comfort foods winter has to offer, then celebrate the sunshine. 🙂
Other small slow cooker + liner options :
slow cooker beef short ribs
- 4 bone-in beef short ribs 2" pieces
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. ground sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
- 2 Tbsp. ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- Set slow cooker to low. Line with slow cooker liner (optional). Pat short ribs with a paper towel to remove any excess liquids. Place short ribs into a large Ziploc bag.
- Whisk the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the Ziploc bag with the short ribs, then shake to thoroughly coat them. Set aside.
- Pour vegetable oil into a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, remove the short ribs from the Ziploc bag, and brown each side of the short ribs until dark brown and crisped; 1-2 minutes per side. Place cooked short ribs into slow cooker.
- Discard of any grease / fat from the saute pan. Leave the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add onion, and cook for 2 minutes, scraping browned bits into the onion as it cooks.
- Add all other ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and pour directly onto short ribs in slow cooker.
- Cover and cook for 6 hours, or until meat is tender enough to fall off the bone.
- Serve hot over parmesan risotto, or starch of your choice. Veggies are always great, too. 🙂