Fall-apart beef served with a rich and meaty red wine gravy.  This is serious comfort food. The whole family devours my Crockpot Short Ribs! Plus they make THE BEST leftovers too.

A close up of slow cooked beef short rib with gravy on a plate of mashed potatoes, with green vegetables also on the plate. The plate is on a wooden table. There is a forkful being taken from the short rib.
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Oh man, I love these beef short ribs! So tasty served on a big pile of creamy mashed potato and smothered in gravy.

One of the things I love about short ribs is the sheer amount of meat you get on them. These ones from the supermarket are pretty meaty (easily enough for the kids to share one), although if I go to the butchers, they’re sometimes huuuuggge!

Last time they were so big, one short rib fed all four of us!

Of course I saved the leftovers and we had a giant burrito feast the next day.

FYI – this post contains a couple of affiliate links to products I use. If you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps me to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running x

📋 What do we need?

Ingredients for slow cooker short ribs recipe on a wooden table

📺 How to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Heat some oil and sear the short ribs. You can do this in a pan, or directly in your slow cooker if you have a searing function (my crockpot does this and I love it!). You want them nicely browned all over.
Browned short ribs in a slow cooker

Then we add onions and soften them, before adding in garlic, red wine, stock, thyme, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Bring everything to the boil (transfer to your slow cooker at this point if you were doing this part in a pan) and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Overhead image of short ribs and gravy being cooked in a slow cooker

After that time the meat should be starting to fall apart. Ladle most of the liquid into a pan

Removing stock using a ladle from a slow cooker with shortribs

Bring the liquid to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Stir in a little cornstarch slurry to thicken, then turn off the heat.

Serve the short ribs on top of creamy mashed potato with green veg and a good drizzle of that gravy.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP Cook an extra short rib or two so you can use the meat for leftovers. I’ve got some ideas for you in the recipe card at the end of this post.

A close up of slow cooked beef short rib with gravy on a plate of mashed potatoes, with green vegetables also on the plate. The plate is on a wooden table.

Let’s talk mashed potato. One of my childhood dream-foods – I’ve always loved mashed potato.  It’s got to be proper mash though.

By that I mean laced with lots of butter, a good drizzle of thick cream and some freshly ground salt and pepper.  Done like that, I just want to sit on the sofa and eat it straight from the pan.

An absolute must for me is a potato ricer. Have you tried one?

I have a thing against traditional mashers – they just don’t work for me.  I always end up with lumpy mash.  Potato ricers may just be one of my favourite kitchen inventions. I use this OXO good grips one.

No peeling needed, no need to work up a sweat, endlessly bashing those potatoes.
For emergency mash (I’m not the only person to have ever used the words ’emergency mash’ am I?) you can even shove a whole potato in the microwave to cook and then put it through the ricer.

Any leftover mash and veg is fantastic fried up into bubble and squeak patties.

The mash for this meal is served with a deliciously meaty red-wine gravy – meaning it’s pretty unlikely you’ll have any leftovers anyway.

Let’s just have a close-up look at that meat again…….

Close up of Slow cooker short ribs with gravy being pulled apart

🍲 More fantastic Slow-Cooked recipes

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4.83 from 39 votes

Crockpot Beef Short Ribs with Rich Gravy

Crockpot Short Ribs. Fall-apart beef served with a rich and meaty red wine gravy. This is serious comfort food.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 hungry people
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Short Ribs:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 meaty beef short ribs
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 240 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 640 ml (2 3/4 cups) beef stock (water + 3 beef stock cubes is fine)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree paste for US
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the gravy:

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
  • 5 tbsp cold water

To Serve:

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Instructions 

  • Heat the oil on high in a large frying pan (or using the searing function of your slow-cooker if it has one). Place the short ribs in the pan and brown on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes.
    1 tbsp oil, 4 meaty beef short ribs
  • Add in the onion and cook for a further 2 minutes, whilst stirring.
    1 onion
  • Add in the garlic and heat through for a minute, then add in the red wine.
    3 cloves garlic, 240 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • Bring to a bubble and allow to simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, then add in the rest of the short rib ingredients.
    640 ml (2 3/4 cups) beef stock, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tsp sugar, 2 bay leaves, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Stir together and bring to a simmer, then transfer to the crockpot. Place the lid on and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • To make the gravy, ladle most of the cooking liquid out of the slow cooker and into a saucepan.
  • Heat the sauce over a high heat until bubbling.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water, then slowly pour the mixture into the cooking liquid whilst whisking – until the gravy thickens. You may not need all of the cornstarch. You’re looking for a nice gravy of a medium-thick consistency.
    2 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour, 5 tbsp cold water
  • Turn off the slow cooker and place one short rib on top of a pile of mash. Pour over a little gravy, and repeat with the other 3 short ribs. Serve with steamed green vegetables.
    creamy mashed potato, green vegetables

Video

Notes

Can I make it in the oven?
Yes – cook in a dutch oven or heavy-based pan with a lid at 140C/275F for 3-4 hours. Check every half hour or so in the last couple of hours of cooking and top up with more stock if needed. It will need to have at least a couple of cups (480ml) of cooking liquid left at the end to make the gravy.
Can I make it ahead?
Yes. Once cooked, cool quickly in the cooking liquid (do this before making the gravy), then cover and refrigerate  Reheat in a pan (with the cooking liquid) with a lid in the oven at 160C/320F for 30-40 minutes, until piping hot throughout. Reheating in the liquid will help keep the meat moist. You may need to add a little more stock to ensure you have enough to make gravy once the meat has heated through.
Can I freeze it?
Yes. Leftovers can be cooled quickly with any leftover gravy, covered and frozen. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in a pan with a lid in the oven at 160C/320F for 30-40 minutes, until piping hot throughout. You may need to add a splash of hot water or stock so the gravy doesn’t dry out.
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes, this recipe is already gluten free if you use gluten free stock. Also check your red wine brand and tomato puree/paste is gluten free.
What can I replace the wine with?
Simply replace with the same amount of stock plus an extra tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar).
Leftovers:
Use leftovers to make:
  • Fantastic burritos (I heat up the shredded meat and gravy in a pan with little chilli sauce).
  • You could also make meaty sandwiches like this brisket sandwich with garlic potatoes (I know it’s not brisket, but it will work just as well).
  • Alternatively heat up the shredded meat and gravy in a pan with a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a half teaspoon of chilli flakes to make a quick ragu, then stir it through cooked pasta and top with parmesan.
..
Nutrition info is for one serving of this recipe and does not include the serving suggestion of mashed potatoes and green veg.

Nutrition

Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 1031mg | Potassium: 840mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This post was first published in May 2015. Updated in December 2018 and again in June 2022 with new photos, video and tips.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Absolutely amazing!!! My first time cooking beef short ribs. I was looking for a recipe which wasn’t a BBQ sauce recipe and this recipe did not disappoint! I did review the comments and took on board the seasoning comments, so I seasoned my ribs well before searing. The only other little tweak I made was to add a knob of butter to the gravy after adding the cornflour slurry.

  2. Roberta Wills says:

    5 stars
    Outstanding recipe. First time making short ribs. Delicious!

  3. shaunna says:

    3 stars
    I recommend skimming the fat from the liquid before making the gravy. Obviously depends how fatty your ribs are but if I hadn’t added that step my gravy would have been unpalatable.
    needed more seasoning too

  4. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! We had our neighbor’s beef and our own home grown potatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, thyme and even the bay leaves. Just doesn’t get any better than this!
    Thank you!!

  5. Ren says:

    4 stars
    This was a great way to learn how to fully cook the short ribs and make them tender however, the recipe needs way more seasoning! I recommend adding way more salt especially to the meat before you sear it and into the liquid you put it into. It came okay decent but could be way better with more flavor.

  6. Ed K. says:

    4 stars
    The proportions of ingredients worked out perfectly! I found it necessary to skim off some rendered fat before removing the liquid to a pan for thickening. This may depend upon how the cuts of meat are trimmed and individual preference.

  7. Gina says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night and it was fantastic, will definitely make it again and every element was perfect. Thank you, I will look at some more of your recipes.

  8. Kim says:

    Bone in or boneless ribs? I’ve never cooked short ribs before and want to try. Thanks

  9. Mark Lamb says:

    5 stars
    Amazing, I did four ribs, so a little greasy. Chilled it over night, cleaned the fat off, reheated it, the following evening, served over beef rice, and Mixed Vegetables 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻❤️😎💐

  10. Ds says:

    4 stars
    An even better way to make that pan sauce is with a roux!
    Thanks for the great recipe, delicious