Short ribs are one of those cuts that few people really appreciate, as they tend to take way too long to cook conventionally. To help make it easier, why not throw them in a slow cooker and end up with delicious, sweet slow cooker beef short ribs instead?
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Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs
There’s something special about a hearty, warm meal that has been cooking all day in your slow cooker.
The feeling of being able to leave something in your slow cooker all day, and then come home to warm, home-cooked food just can’t be beat.
When it comes to comfort food, beef short ribs are easily at the top of the list. They’re flavorful, tender, and always hit the spot when they are prepared just right.
Here are a few tips and tricks to ensuring that your beef short ribs are not only tender and delicious, but also as simple and easy to make as possible.
Tips For Buying Short Ribs
The first step to making the best beef short ribs is to buy the right cut of meat.
You want to look for beef short ribs that are well-marbled with fat and have a good amount of meat on the bone, as well as ensuring they are big enough so that one large short rib can easily feed one person.
You want the meat to be really bright red as well, and not at all dry, as this implies that the meat has been sitting out too long and has dried out.
For the best possible cut of meat, go up to your local butcher’s counter and ask for English-cut beef short ribs, which means they are cut parallel to the bone, making them easier to eat, as well as having a ton more meat than other cuts.
Do You Have To Use Molasses?
Many recipes for short ribs call for the use of molasses as an ingredient, including this one, so you might be wondering if it’s really necessary.
Well, while molasses contribute a ton of rich flavor and sweetness, it’s not essential to the recipe, so you don’t have to use molasses if you don’t want to.
If you don’t have molasses or don’t like the taste, you can instead substitute brown sugar or honey instead. Brown sugar will contribute some of that dark, robust taste that molasses has, whereas honey will offer more of a fruity, intense flavor instead.
Whatever type of sugar you use, the important thing is that you have plenty of sweetness in your liquid base for the short ribs to braise in, as the sugar will not only lightly caramelize but also flavor and tenderize the meat.
So definitely don’t skip the sugar component of this recipe, as it just wouldn’t be the same without it.
How To Tell When Your Short Ribs Are Done
One of the challenges of cooking beef short ribs is knowing precisely when they’re done. If you tried to prepare short ribs like any other cut of beef, you would probably find that it took way too long to prepare, seemingly never getting tender no matter how long you cooked it.
The reason it takes so long is because of the sheer amount of connective tissue within the short ribs, but this can be overcome with a lot of patience, and by braising it, both of which can easily happen in the slow cooker.
The issue is that with other cuts of meat and with other recipes, “done” simply means whenever the meat has reached a safe temperature. Short ribs, however, are best when they are really well cooked and practically falling apart, like in barbecue.
While a safe temperature would be around 145 Fahrenheit, you should cook them until they are fall-off-the-bone tender, which means cooking them for at least 6-8 hours on low heat in your slow cooker until the meat visibly seems to fall apart.
If you can poke the meat with a knife, fork, or your finger and it jiggles gently, and so long as the liquid surrounding the short ribs is thick, glossy, and faintly bubbling, then your short ribs are ready to eat!
What To Do With Your Leftovers
If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers from your Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs, there are plenty of ways to use them up. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- In A Sandwich For Lunch The Next Day
To turn your short ribs into sandwiches, simply shred the leftover meat and pile it high on your favorite bread with some cheese, lettuce, and tomato for a delicious sandwich!
- As A Salad Topping
Just slice the leftover meat thinly and add it to a salad for a protein-packed and healthy light meal!
- Add It To An Omelet
Perfect the tastiest and the least appreciated, just chop up the leftover meat and add it to an omelet with some veggies and cheese for a hearty breakfast that anyone would easily pay way over the odds for at a diner!
Looking for more delicious Beef recipes? Try these out:
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Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 6 hours
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 packs beef short ribs (2 large ribs to a package)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup flour
- 5 Tablespoons molasses
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
- 1400 ml can of tomato sauce
- Place a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add in the butter and melt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper and flour. Dredge the short ribs through the mixture, coating well until they are covered.
- Fry the short ribs in the skillet until they are browned on the outside. Place them in the bottom of a large slow cooker.
- Mix up your sauce now – the molasses, tomato sauce, onion powder and vinegar, then pour it over the ribs. I always seal my crock pot to keep in moisture, tinfoil between the top and the lid, the tinfoil seems to help heat and moisture-wise.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours, then they just literally fall off the bone! Serve on a bed of rice and use the sauce on the rice as well.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.