Slow cooker short ribs with gravy served on mashed potatoes with green veg

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.
Course Dinner
Cuisine British
Keyword autumn, slow cooked, winter
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 hungry people
Author Nicky Corbishley


Short Ribs:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 meaty beef short ribs
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 cup (240ml) red wine
  • 2 3/4 cups (640ml) beef stock (water + 3 beef stock cubes is fine – or use gluten-free stock or vegetable bouillon for gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree/paste usually gluten free, but best to check if required
  • 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:

  • Creamy Mashed potato
  • Green Vegetables


  • Heat the oil on high in a large frying pan (or the bowl of your crockpot if it’s flame-proof like mine - check it out here). Place the short ribs in the pan and brown on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes. Add in the onion and cook for a further 2 minutes, whilst stirring.
  • Add in the garlic and heat through for a minute, then add in the 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. Bring to the boil, then transfer to the crockpot. Place the lid on and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Once the ribs are nearly ready, make your mashed potato and cook the green veg.
  • To make the gravy, ladle most of the cooking liquid out of the slow cooker and into a saucepan. Heat on a high heat. 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.
  • Turn off the slow cooker and place one short rib on top of a pile of the mash. Pour over a little gravy, and repeat with the other 3 short ribs.
  • Serve with the green veg and more of the gravy.


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).


Use leftover 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.

Nutritional Information

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
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