Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Beef short ribs in the slow cooker.
Beef short ribs made in the slow cooker. Jessica Harlan licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • 7 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 7 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (4)

It's so easy to make tender, succulent beef short ribs in the slow cooker. This recipe for beef short ribs includes button mushrooms, carrot chunks, and a thick tomato sauce. They're a particularly hearty meal served atop a mound of homey Smashed Potatoes. It's not essential to brown the short ribs in the broiler first, but doing so adds depth to the flavor of this dish.

Cooking Equipment Needed: Kitchen scale, vegetable peeler, chef's knife, cutting board, measuring cups, measuring spoons, broiler pan or baking sheet, 6-quart slow cooker, mixing bowl, ladle

What You'll Need

  • 3 pounds beef short ribs (ask your butcher to cut these into six to eight chunks)
  • Dash of kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces baby button mushrooms (wiped clean and halved)
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • For serving: cooked and buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes

How to Make It

  1. Place an oven rack about six inches under the heat source and preheat the broiler. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil. When the oven is hot, brown the short ribs under the broiler, turning ribs until each side is evenly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes total.
  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large (6-quart) slow cooker crock, place the carrots, mushrooms and shallots, toss with a spoon to combine. Place the short ribs on top of vegetables.
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar or maple syrup, and cider vinegar. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over ribs. Cover and set the slow cooker to high. After 1 hour, reduce the slow cooker setting to low (Alternately, set the slow cooker to low setting and leave on low for the entire time). If possible, check after 3 or 4 hours to make sure that short ribs are submerged in the tomato mixture.
  2. Cook for 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours. Short ribs are done when meat is tender and easily pulls or falls off the bone. Turn the slow cooker off, let sit 5 minutes, then carefully remove as much fat from the surface as possible with a spoon. To serve, ladle a piece of beef, along with carrots and mushrooms and tomato sauce, onto a bed of smashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles.

Note: If you have leftovers, you can make it into a delicious ragu for pasta. Just pull all the meat off the bone and shred it. If the sauce is too thin, add a few tablespoons of tomato sauce or tomato paste as you're heating it; serve it tossed with store-bought or homemade pasta, such as tagliatelle or papardelle and sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese.