Crockpot Beef Short Ribs- Fall off the Bone Tender | Erhardts Eat
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Crockpot Beef Short Ribs- Fall off the Bone Tender

These simple Crockpot Beef Short Ribs pack a big flavor and make the perfect holiday main dish or celebratory meal. Trust me, these are worth the splurge.

December 11, 2018 (Last Updated: July 13, 2019)
The BEST easy Crockpot Beef Short Ribs dinner recipe for the holiday season, Christmas, Valentines Day, date night, or an anniversary. Wonderful combination of bone in short ribs, thyme, carrots, red wine and mushrooms for the perfect fall off the bone tender meat. #dinner #holidays #Christmas #ValentinesDay #Datenight #shortribs

Okay, I am finally putting out a new recipe that isn’t a sweet. These Crockpot Beef Short Ribs are crazy easy and delicious. The prep work is about 10 minutes, then the crockpot does all the hard work. The result is super tender meat, a herby and wonderful sauce and vegetables you will actually want to eat. This recipe screams fancy Christmas dinner without having to spend all day in the kitchen prepping and preparing. So for everyone out there that wants to be fancy and show off on a holiday or anniversary, but doesn’t want to do the work, this recipe is for you.

What Do You Need To Make Crockpot Beef Short Ribs?

First, for this recipe I really tried to stay around the 10 ingredient mark. I know not everyone has tons of spices and fancy ingredients around their kitchens. I got pretty close with 12 ingredients…but really my head it is 10, because salt and pepper don’t count. Either way these crockpot beef short ribs are bursting with flavor and are fall off the bone tender.

Now, before you decide to run out and make this recipe, please know that short ribs are not cheap. I envision this recipe eaten on a holiday like Christmas or New Years or even for an anniversary. Alternatively, if you want to go wild on a Monday and splurge, do you! This recipe is completely worth the splurge in my opinion and you will have a hard time not making it a weekly meal.

The ingredients you will need are:

  1. Bone-In Beef Short Ribs aka The Star of the Show
  2. Carrots and Mushrooms
  3. Herbs/Spices: Thyme, A Bay Leaf, Salt, Pepper, and Garlic
  4. Flavor Boosters: Tomato Paste and Butter
  5. Liquid: Red Wine and Beef Broth

The kitchen tools you will need are:

  • A Crockpot
  • A Skillet
  • Tongs, A Slotted Spoon, or a Fork works too

Note: For this recipe I used red wine. This is not required and you can switch it for more beef broth or water. I love cooking with wine, but understand if you do not drink or you do not want your children eating a recipe where alcohol is used. The alcohol is cooked out in the cooking process, but slight notes will remain in the finished product. 

Image for crockpot beef short ribs recipe. Image is shot from above and shows beef, sweet potatoes, and carrots on a white plate sitting on a blue counter.

How Do You Make Crockpot Beef Short Ribs?

The recipe is so simple. It is actually crazy how much flavor is developed with very little effort. Crockpots really are a gift we do not deserve. The prep time for this recipe is also short and sweet making this perfect for a busy holiday, date night, or anniversary dinner in. Christmas especially is a holiday where my family is going to multiple houses, opening gifts and playing with said gifts.

The LAST thing I want to be doing is messing around preparing an elaborate meal. But, it is Christmas so you also want something special and fancy! Ladies and gentleman meet the short rib. Tons of flavor, fancy, and the whole recipe cooks all day in the crockpot, and you don’t lift a finger. The best of both worlds: fancy and lazy.

Simple Recipe Step By Step

  1. First, you will need to brown the meat. Add salt and pepper to all sides of each short rib, then place them in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook each side until browned. The entire process should take you about 5 minutes, each side browns up pretty fast. Alternatively, if you are really in a pinch or just do not feel like doing this step you could just toss them in the crockpot. The texture will be a bite different, but the flavor will remain the same.
  2. Second, you will add all your ingredients to a large crockpot and cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. That’s it. Now you just hang out and wait and enjoy your house smelling glorious.
  3. Once your short ribs are literally falling off the bone, then you know they are finished. Remove the herbs and discard them, and spoon out your veggies and set aside as well. You can serve them whole, cut them up or shred them.

Note: Also, please for the love of everything do not get rid of all the beautiful liquid in the crockpot. I like to drizzle mine over my meat, potatoes and veggies. See recipe notes on how to make the liquid a little thicker like gravy.

Tip: Low and Slow is best for this recipe. I recommend cooking them on low in the slow cooker for 8 hours. Alternatively, if you are stretched for time you could cook them on high for 5 hours.

Prep image for crockpot beef short ribs recipe. Image is shot from above and shows all ingredients in a crockpot uncooked.

Need More Main Dish Ideas?!

Herb Butter Roasted Turkey with Classic Pan Gravy

Classic Baked Mostaccioli 

Sweet and Spicy Chili Mac and Cheese

Image for crockpot beef short ribs recipe. Close up shot of the beef on a white plate with a white napkin in the background.

Common Questions:

How should I store leftovers?

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. When ready to eat de-thaw in the fridge overnight and warm in the microwave or oven until hot.

What should I pair this recipe with?

I pair my short ribs with mashed sweet potatoes and love the flavor combo. Alternatively, you could use serve with regular mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, dinner rolls, or a side salad.

Do I have to brown the meat first?

No, you don’t HAVE to. But, it will develop more flavor and yield a better texture in the end if you do. While I highly recommend you do this step, if you skip it the dish won’t be ruined. 

 

I hope you love this recipe! Whether you are making it for a holiday gathering, anniversary, date night in, or just because on a Tuesday, enjoy! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

Happy Eating!

"Caitlyn" signature in black cursive.

 

 

 

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Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Crockpot Beef Short Ribs

The perfect holiday dinner, date night in or anniversary meal. Big flavor with little effort!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Christmas, Date Night, Holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day
Keyword: Crockpot beef Short Ribs, easy short rib recipe
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 739kcal

Ingredients

Crockpot Beef Short Ribs

  • 3 Ibs Bone-In Beef Short Ribs
  • 3 Cups Baby Carrots
  • 2 Cups Mushrooms Sliced
  • 2 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup Red Wine Optional- See Notes
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 8 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Minced
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste

Instructions

  • Add salt and pepper to all sides of the short ribs. In a large skillet over medium heat brown all the sides of each piece of short rib. About 20 seconds per side. 
  • Add all ingredients to a large crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone. Once finished, remove short ribs and vegetables, set aside. Discard herbs. Don't dispose of the liquid!
  • Serve immediately with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and drizzle with the liquid* from the crockpot. 
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Video

Notes

  • Tip: If you want your liquid to be thicker like gravy combine 1/2 cup water and 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and stir till combined. Add the liquid to a sauce pan over medium heat and whisk in water-cornstarch mixture. Whisk continuously until slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes.
  • Leftover Storage: Store leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To re-warm microwave on high for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Recipe Alterations: You can swap the wine out for additional beef broth or even use water. 

Nutrition

Calories: 739kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.8g | Protein: 27.2g | Fat: 65.9g | Saturated Fat: 29.5g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.1g | Calcium: 5% | Iron: 31%
Tried this recipe?Mention @erhardtseat or tag #erhardteat!

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Pin image for crockpot beef short ribs recipe. Image on the top is an overhead shot with the short ribs on a white plate sitting on a blue counter with a gold fork and white napkin on the right. The bottom image is a close up shot of the beef short ribs on a white plate. In the center are the words "crockpot beef short ribs" in white text.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Ellen
    December 11, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    This is my family’s favorite kind of meal! Perfect for busy days too!

  • Reply
    Emily
    December 11, 2018 at 5:47 pm


    This looks so hearty! I am going to pin it for later. It looks great.

    • Reply
      Caitlyn Erhardt
      December 17, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    Louise
    December 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm


    I love short ribs! This recipe looks amazing, I will have to give it a try!

    • Reply
      Caitlyn Erhardt
      December 17, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks so much! It is wonderful!

  • Reply
    Rae
    December 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm


    Short ribs cooked in a big, bold red wine are my absolutely favorite winter dinner. Those potatoes look pretty darn tasty, too!

    • Reply
      Caitlyn Erhardt
      December 17, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks, ours too! Sweet potatoes are a fav in our house!

  • Reply
    Katie
    December 11, 2018 at 2:40 pm


    I was actually looking for a good short rib recipe, so your recipe popped up just in time! It looks amazing, and I love the different ingredients that add their own unique flavor!

    • Reply
      Caitlyn Erhardt
      December 17, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      These are the best! Hope you love it!

  • Reply
    Cindy @ The Sweet Nerd
    December 11, 2018 at 2:32 pm


    The beef short ribs look great but what looks super delish is those side sweet potatoes (I’m guessing). Where do you have that recipe posted?

    • Reply
      Caitlyn Erhardt
      December 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Yes they are sweet potatoes and they are perfect! I actually don’t yet! It is next to go up 🙂

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