Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs are the perfect dinner for fall and winter evenings. The crockpot transforms the short ribs into fall off the bone, tender beef that will melt in your mouth. And the rich, flavorful sauce adds a depth of flavor that's just out of this world! It's a one pot dinner that's super easy to make for busy weeknights yet special enough for company.
Crockpot Short Ribs
I'm still working out of my daughter's house while house hunting so a large dinner that the whole family would enjoy was a must. And since I'm out all day driving around with the realtor this crockpot dinner was the perfect solution.
It's super easy to make too. All you need is a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, some liners, which, take my word for it, make clean up a breeze, and the ingredients. Since short ribs are very meaty, five pounds wound up being the perfect amount for 4 adults and 2 kids. And all you have to do early in the day is dump everything in the pot, set it and forget it.
The meat simmers in a beer and beef flavored sauce until it's fall off the bone tender. Doesn't that look just awesome?! I changed the recipe up a little for my daughter since she is gluten-free and actually found a nice beer to use in place of the dark variety. I do think the dark beer lends more depth of flavor but the GF beer was equal to the task.
This meal is great served over mashed potatoes with a serving of the awesome sauce on the side. And, when it comes to clean-up, you'll be out of the kitchen in a flash.
Frequently Asked Questions about Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs
What are short ribs?
Short ribs come from the chuck portion of a cow. There are 5 ribs that are short and can't be used as steaks. This is what they sell as short ribs.
Can you taste the beer in them?
Not really. I'm not a big beer fan so when I say that it doesn't remind me of beer when I taste it you'd better believe it. The beer lends a roasted, malty tone to the overall dish and provides a depth of flavorful that's out of this world.
Pro-Tip: Use a lighter beer for a less malty flavor and a dark beer for more.
Are overcooked braised short ribs a problem?
It's very hard to overcook this meat. It is simmered or braised for a long time to become so tender it falls right off the bone. This long cooking process takes this very tough meat and breaks down the connective tissues, transforming it into gelatin, to become super tender. So don't worry about overcooking!
Can I cook these in an Instant Pot?
Yes, just place everything in the pot,cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, then let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
Easy Steps to Make Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs
- Place short ribs into the bottom of a crockpot/slow cooker/ Instant Pot. (photo 1)
- Add sliced onions. (photo 2)
- Pour in beer and beef stock. (photo 3)
- Add molasses. (photo 4)
- Pour in balsamic vinegar and pepper sauce, if using. (photo 5)
- Sprinkle in salt, pepper and lay thyme leaves on top. (photo 6)
- Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 5-½ to 6 hours. If using an Instant Pot, cook for 45 minutes then let pressure release manually for 15 minutes.
- Remove top and look at all that tender meat and awesome gravy!
I couldn't pass up showing how tender this beef becomes after cooking it for hours. It just falls right off the bone and, most likely, right into your mouth!
A balanced delicious beef dinner that will knock your socks off! Serve these Beer Braised Short Ribs for an easy weeknight meal, cooking on low in the slow cooker, or for guests. They'll think you slaved for hours and you don't have to tell them it was super easy. That will be our secret. 🙂 Serve over mashed potatoes, grits, polenta or keep it low carb with riced cauliflower with a side of the rich sauce and a veggie.
More Slow Cooker Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners
Crockpot French Dip from 2CM
Crockpot Ropa Vieja from 2CM
Crockpot Beef Stroganoff from Serena Bakes
Crockpot Thai Coconut Chicken from 2CM
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Slow Cooker Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs
- 5 lbs beef short ribs
- 14 oz beef broth/stock
- 12 oz beer dark or opt for a gluten free beer if needed
- ½ sweet onion cut into thin wedges
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Few twists of fresh ground pepper if not using hot sauce
- 3-4 fresh thyme leaves
- Using your slow cooker option on your Instant Pot or just your crockpot, place the ribs into the bottom.
- Add sliced onions.
- Pour in beer and beef stock.
- Add molasses and balsamic vinegar and pepper sauce, if using.
- Sprinkle in salt, pepper and lay thyme leaves on top.
- Cover with lid and cook on high for 5-½-6 hours or on low for 11-12 hours.
- When done remove beef short ribs with slotted spoon to a serving plate. Discard thyme sprigs.
- Serve with beef gravy on the side.
- Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions about Beef Short Ribs
What are short ribs?Short ribs come from the chuck portion of a cow. There are 5 ribs that are short and can't be used as steaks. This is what they sell as short ribs.
Can I overcook braised short ribs?It's very hard to overcook this meat. It is simmered or braised for a long time to become so tender it falls right off the bone. This long cooking process takes this very tough meat and breaks down the connective tissues, transforming it into gelatin, to become super tender. So don't worry about overcooking!
Can I cook these in an Instant Pot?Yes, just place everything in the pot,cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, then let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
Original recipe, only slightly adapted, from Better Homes & Gardens.