Red-Wine Braised Slow Cooker Short Ribs | Hearty beef short ribs braised in red wine and slow roasted in the crockpot until they are fall-apart tender.
I love short ribs, you guys. The first time I ever had them was at a restaurant here in Milwaukee called La Merenda, which specializes in shareable tapas and small plates. One bite of that unbelievably flavorful and tender beef was all it took. I was hooked. I practically hid the plate under the table so no one else could eat any of it. I wanted to hoard it all for myself.
One day, a couple of year ago, I decided to try to make short ribs on my own, and they turned out absolutely terrible. I had just gotten my slow cooker and didn’t really understand how to use it yet. I cooked the short ribs on high with waaaaaaay too much wine and they were basically inedible, which really sucked for me considering I was just out of college and broke, and I had spent a small fortune getting really good quality short ribs from Sendik’s.
After that disaster, I just figured that maybe I wasn’t meant to know how to properly cook short ribs and resigned myself to the fact that I would only ever have them at restaurants. And believe me, I ordered them pretty much every time I saw them on the menu.
Well, about a month ago, I was digging around in the discounted meat freezer at Woodman’s, which, in my opinion is the best thing since sliced bread. Have you fellow Woodman’s patrons discovered this thing yet? It’s amazing. They throw all the meat that is nearing it’s sell-by date in there and sell it at a really good discount.
Sometimes the meat can get a little freezer burned, so you have to kind of dig through things to find quality cuts of meat, but I’ve bought tons of food this way. Most often, they have just ground beef, but I’ve gotten quite a few beef roasts and pork shoulders this way. I went nuts on some organic chicken a few weeks back and we’re basically stocked up on chicken for the next year. Believe me, I put my deep freezer to good use.
Anyhoo, I found a couple of packages of short ribs in the discounted meat freezer about a month ago and decided that maybe this was a sign from the universe that it was time for me to try cooking them again.
And OMG Y’ALL, am I ever glad that I did. These short ribs were, hands-down, the best dinner I’ve made in a long time.
First, the short ribs are seared in a hot skillet so that the outsides get brown and crispy and the ribs really retain their flavor. Then you combine onions, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, and beef stock into a braising liquid, which is slow roasted with the short ribs in the crockpot for 6-8 hours (I think I cooked mine for a little over 7 hours).
Life tip: Leave the house while these things are cooking. Otherwise you’ll be hovering over your slow cooker, inhaling the irresistible scent of cooking meat for hours on end. You’ll look like a crazy person, and that’s not a good look on anybody.
Once the short ribs are fall-apart tender, the braising liquid is cooked down into a thick and rich sauce that’s poured over top of the ribs. I served mine over a bed of cheddar mashed potatoes, but some creamy risotto or polenta would work well too. Pair with some steamed veggies and you have the perfect meal for Sunday night dinner.
God, just looking at them again is making my stomach growl.
Red-Wine Braised Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 bone-in short ribs (4-5 pounds)
- Kosher salt & pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine (I used Shiraz)
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Season short ribs well with kosher salt & pepper. Working in batches, add short ribs to the skillet and sear all sides, turning every minute or so. Transfer seared short ribs to a large slow cooker.
- Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add chopped onion and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium and pour in red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any stuck on bits. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Add chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes.
- Pour mixture into slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Transfer ribs to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Keep warm in the oven set to a low temperature.
- Strain the cooking liquid into a large measuring glass and discard the solids. Skim off as much fat as possible, and transfer liquid to a saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, and cook until sauce has reduced by about half, about 20 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste and boil for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the short ribs from the oven and plate. Spoon sauce over ribs.
Inspired by: Rachael Ray