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Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Tomato Sauce


Beef short ribs in the slow cooker.

Beef short ribs made in the slow cooker.

Jessica Harlan licensed to About.com, Inc.
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.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 25 minutes


  • 3 pounds beef short ribs (ask your butcher to cut these into six to eight chunks)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces baby button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved
  • 1/3 cups minced shallots
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar


  1. Place an oven rack about six inches under the heat source and preheat the broiler. Place short ribs on a broiler pan or a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil. When the oven is hot, brown short ribs under the broiler, turning ribs until each side is evenly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes total.

  2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. In a large (6-quart) slow cooker crock, place carrots, mushrooms and shallots, toss with a spoon to combine. Place short ribs on top of vegetables.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar or maple syrup and cider vinegar. Pour tomato mixture evenly over ribs. Cover and set slow cooker to high. After 1 hour, reduce slow cooker setting to low (Alternately, set 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.

  4. 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 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 as you're heating it; serve over store-bought or homemade pasta, such as tagliatelle or papardelle and sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese.

This recipe for beef short ribs with tomato sauce serves 6 people.

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