These Slow Cooked Braised Beef Short Ribs are the perfect comfort meal and special meal rolled into one. So easy to cook as the slow cooker does the work for you, it's a great recipe to have for that weekend family supper or even for your holiday table.
What Is Braising?
According to npr.org, braising is a 300,000 year old cooking technique primarily used in the cooking of tough cuts of meat. These cuts are cooked on low heat, half immersed in a marinade of stock, wine or vinegar and herbs.
The Best Ribs To Buy
Beef Ribs are cut in one of two ways; Flanken, such as Korean Ribs or English Style. For the best short ribs, it's best to use the English Style ribs. These are in the form of 1 bone surrounded by a thick layer of marbled meat.
The Perfect Sear
It's usually best to sear the ribs in a separate pan and then add them to your slow cooker. Of course, If using a slow cooker setting on an Instant Pot you can always use the saute mode to get the same results. However, I find that a thicker bottomed pan or pot yields better results.
Braising Versus Stewing
You may wonder what the difference between a braise and a stew is. A stew is usually made with smaller pieces of meat and lots of liquid. Whereas, a braise is made with big pieces of meat only half immersed in water.
After you sear the meat, add it to your slow cooker, along with the remaining marinade and ingredients. Seal your cooker, set your timer and walk away till it's time to eat! It's that easy!
I use my Instant Pot slow cooker setting. A five hour time is perfect for the ribs but if you have a different appliance, follow instructions in the recipe card below.
Thickening The Gravy
There are a couple of options for the gravy, depending on your preferences.
If you like a thin, light sauce on your beef short ribs you can leave the liquid as is. Drizzling a little bit on the ribs before serving them adds some delicious flavor and moisture .
If you prefer a slightly thicker gravy, follow the instructions in the recipe card and add a cornstarch slurry.
Cooking The Braised Short Ribs In The Oven
Don't have a slow cooker? Don't worry! Cook your ribs in the oven! Sear the ribs as above and add them to a pot with the liquid and other ingredients. Seal tightly and place in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 2 ½ hours.
The oven method works well as it provides evenly distributed heat. The only problem is pulling a very heavy and hot pot out of the oven!
Stove Top Method ?
A stove top method is not one I recommend for braised beef short ribs. The heat is uneven as there is just one burner and the liquid evaporates at a faster rate. The results are just a little short of fork tender beef.
Since the ideal internal temperature of 180-205 degrees can not be consistently maintained, the connective tissue doesn't break down properly. This results in tough meat.
Best Sides For Your Beef Short Ribs
Slow Cooked Braised Beef Short Ribs
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 lbs beef short ribs (4-6 pieces)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 10 garlic cloves
- 4 shallots (SEE NOTES)
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- ¼ cup water (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Mix all of the ingredients in the marinade and pour over the short ribs in a ziploc bag. Massage well and leave in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- In the morning, add the ribs, along with the marinade, to your slow cooker.
- Pour the broth over the ribs and add in the garlic cloves and shallots.
- Place the herbs on top, seal your slow cooker and set it to cook. I used the slow cooker setting on my Instant Pot and it took the ribs 5 hours (SEE NOTES FOR ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS)