This slow cooker beef short ribs recipe and post contains affiliate links.
In my last post featuring my gluten-free popovers recipe, you may have caught a glimpse of this beefy dish that I served alongside those buttery popovers.
The dish you saw is my slow cooker beef short ribs recipe. I’ve been making it for years now. It’s a recipe my mother-in-law first discovered on Food.com (which is no longer available online) and she has since shared with me. (I begged her to send me the recipe because I wanted to be able to enjoy it again and again.)
This beef short ribs recipe is one of my favorite go-to recipes when I’m looking for something to make when I entertain guests, and I think it’s the perfect recipe for special occasions too. The last time I made it was New Year’s Eve. Prior to that? I made it when I had some good friends over for dinner. Every time I serve it I get rave reviews.
Simply put… this is a no-fail, always-delicious, can’t-mess-up kinda recipe!
In case you’re not familiar with beef short ribs, they are a tough cut of meat due to their extensive connective tissues. They require slow and low cooking in order to break down the tissue (similar to brisket). If you cook beef short ribs slowly and on a low, consistent heat, you’ll wind up with a fall-apart meat dish that is irresistible and mouthwatering!
Preparation and Patience Required
To make this beef short ribs recipe, you need to employ two important Ps – preparation and patience!
You need to leave yourself a solid 30 minutes in the morning to prepare all the ingredients. You’ll want to brown the short ribs in butter, as well as saute the onions and garlic before piling all the ingredients in your slow cooker.
You also may need to make a run for the grocery store, as there are several ingredients in this recipe that you may not have on hand.
Also, please check ingredient labels carefully, especially when it comes to these specific products:
- Beef stock: Not all beef stock is gluten-free. Pacific Foods makes a gluten-free and organic beef stock that I like. Of course, if you make your own homemade beef broth, you can use that instead!
- Worcestershire sauce: Most worcestershire sauces are NOT gluten-free and are distilled from soy sauce or malt vinegar. Lea & Perrins is gluten-free (just check labels to be extra cautious. Lea & Perrins should include the “gluten-free” label on the product.
- Chili Garlic sauce: I use the chili garlic sauce by Huy Fong Foods and have no problems with it. It is not labeled gluten-free though but does not contain any gluten ingredients and many people I know who are gluten-free use it without problems. You can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores. If you prefer to omit it, simply add some red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce to your mixture. You’ll net similar results.
Of course, you also need a large slow cooker. You can find some reasonably priced slow cookers on Amazon if you’re in the market for a new one. I’m amazed at how far slow cookers have come from when I first got mine 17 years ago as a wedding gift.
Once you place all the ingredients in your slow cooker, you want to leave it so it cooks on low and slow for 8-9 hours. The smell in your house will be incredible and you will be tempted to poke at it sooner, but don’t. Allow it all the time it needs to cook. Do not open your slow cooker to mix it either. Trust the process. It’s cooking and it will be delicious when dinner time rolls around.
I served this delicious slow cooker beef short ribs recipe with my soft, doughy and buttery gluten-free popovers recipe. The popovers soaked up the delicious gravy and worked well as an accompaniment to this beef dish. You could also serve it alongside a baked potato, with gluten-free dinner rolls, or even on a bed of rice or quinoa.
You will love this recipe because it’s so savory, beefy, spicy and sweet. It’s a joyride for your tastebuds – and you won’t miss the gluten one bit – I promise!
Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Recipe
- 1/3 cup gluten-free rice flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Rice Flour)
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 3 1/2 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
- 1/4 cup butter (or vegan butter substitute)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup gluten-free beef broth (Pacific Foods beef broth is GF)
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup garlic chili sauce (like Huy Fong Foods Chili Garlic Sauce found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
- 2 Tbsp. ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (Lea Perrins is GF)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
In a large pan, heat butter over medium high heat until melted.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Dip each short rib into the flour mixture and then place each rib into the hot pan.
Brown ribs on all four sides for approximately 1 minute on each side, then place ribs in slow cooker.
In the same pan, add onions and saute until they start to lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and mix for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add all other ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil while stirring every 30 seconds.
Pour mixture over short ribs. The mixture should just about cover the ribs.
Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
NOTE: Finding organic short ribs for your beef short ribs recipe can be a challenge. Unfortunately, Costco (where I shop the most for meats) has the best value but the short ribs are not organic. I often use them, as no one’s diet needs to be perfect. My hope is that organic beef short ribs will be more readily available at a better value down the road. In the meantime, I enjoy these beef short ribs on occasion only, and buy 90% of the animal products I consume organic.