Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs in Cabernet Sauce

by jenna on February 1, 2013

This is dude food.

Total and complete dude food.

In fact, I think Adam almost proposed to me all over the other night after I served him these beef short ribs, sitting on a creamy mound of Parmesan risotto. I’m completely serious. The short ribs were so tender the meat fell right off the bone, no knives required! Just another reason why my slow cooker is my absolute favorite cooking appliance. There’s no way you can get meat this tender without one.

I developed this recipe for Barefoot Wine and admittedly, had a bit of a heavy hand pouring the Cabernet. There’s no such thing as too much wine, right? Right.

Here’s everything you need. Now, this isn’t one of those slow cooker recipes where you just throw every ingredients in the pot and run. You’ve gotta do a little prep work here but the final result is definitely worth your time. The flavor that comes from taking a few extra minutes to brown your short ribs before sticking in the slow cooker makes it worth it.

After browning your short ribs, you mix up the red wine sauce on the stove then pour over the short ribs in the slow cooker. Then, let ’em simmer away all day long…or all night long! Nothing like waking up to the smell of ribs cooking. Heh.

These are super duper tender and I like to serve them on top of risotto — or mashed potatoes, if you prefer! The other night I made some risotto with the rest of the beef broth and lots of Parmesan cheese to go with these. Add a salad and you’re good to go. Ultimate comfort food right here.

Happy Weekend, party people!

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs in Cabernet Sauce

serves 3-4

Print this Recipe!


3 ½ lbs beef chuck short ribs

2 whole shallots, minced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 ½ cups Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup beef broth

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 ½ tbsp all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt, divided

1 tsp pepper, divided


Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. When hot, add the short ribs. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the ribs in the pan and brown. This will take about three to four minutes per side. You want them very nice and caramelized.

After the ribs have browned, remove from carefully and set them at the bottom of your slow cooker. Take the pan off the heat briefly to cool down, then return to medium heat and add the minced shallots and diced celery. Saute for about five minutes until tender, then add the tomato paste. Mash the tomato paste into the veggies using a rubber spatula and continue to sauté on medium heat for another four minutes.

Pour the wine and the beef broth into the skillet and stir. Add the brown sugar, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of pepper and the flour. Stir well to get rid of any flour clumps.

Bring sauce to a boil, then to a simmer. Pour sauce right over ribs in the slow cooker. Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper on top. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on HIGH for seven to eight hours or on LOW for 11-12 hours. When done, the meat should literally be falling off the bone.

I like to serve these ribs on top of risotto…or mashed potatoes! Yum.


active time — 25 minutes

total time — 8 hours

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

mary (sisters running the kitchen) February 1, 2013 at 3:36 am

yum….these look delicious! i love a good slow cooker recipe.


taylor @ taylormade February 1, 2013 at 3:51 am

wow… these look absolutely amazing. and yes, my boyfriend would LOVE. I’ve never made short ribs before, but this looks like a great recipe to start with :)


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 1, 2013 at 4:23 am

Hehe yes dude food for sure! A couple of friends are helping me move this weekend and I’m sure they’d both accept this meal as payment! :) Happy weekend Jenna!


Jessica Z February 1, 2013 at 4:34 am

This looks amazing! Do you have a recipe for the Parmesan Risotto??


megan @ whatmegansmaking February 1, 2013 at 4:40 am

This sounds perfect for the cold snowy weather we have here – pretty sure my husband would go crazy for these ribs :)


Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite February 1, 2013 at 5:07 am

My husband would loooooooooooooooove these ribs! I should probably be a good wife and make these for Valentine’s day :)


Julie February 1, 2013 at 5:37 am

Short ribs are probably my favorite food and with risotto, yum! I’m thinking this would make a good Valentine’s Day dinner!


Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots February 1, 2013 at 5:58 am

so this is the secret to getting your boyfriend to propose!? haha but seriously I think I need to make this for my boyfriend on valentine’s day!


Heather @ Heather's Dish February 1, 2013 at 6:17 am

Girl, I think I’d propose to you too if you served me a meal like this! YUM :)


Malkire February 1, 2013 at 6:28 am

Oh my! This will be our meal on Saturday for sure now.


Pippa@sundaysupperswithpippa February 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! They look delicious.


Stephanie February 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

My fiance and I are getting married next weekend. I think this is the perfect meal to make as our last meal for just the two of us before we head to Kentucky for the wedding. Thanks so much, Jenna!


Makenzie Ann February 1, 2013 at 7:21 am

haha I might not be single for long if I learn how to make those…man food for sure!


Anne @ eatcleaneatreal February 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

This sounds fantastic…total comfort food. Do you think you could do this in the crock pot at all?


jenna February 1, 2013 at 7:40 am

The slow cooker is the crock pot :)


Anne @ eatcleaneatreal February 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

Sorry, I meant to ask if you COULD do the entire think in the slow cooker AKA crock pot if you are feeling lazy 😉 Its a Friday, my brain is dead…


jenna February 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm

hmmm…I’m still not sure I understand. You need to brown the meat and make the sauce on the stove before putting in the Crock Pot..but then you just put everything in and let it cook for eight hours.


Jenn February 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

@ Anne – I know what you mean, just dump all the ingredients into the crockpot instead of browning and making the sauce separately. This is what I plan to do tomorrow so I’ll let you know how it turns out! I’m all about dump & go with the crockpot! 😉

Heidi @foodiecrush February 1, 2013 at 7:32 am

Short Ribs are my vice, my grandmother had the best recipe she’d serve when we’d arrive from our 12 hour car ride to visit her. She could have made them twice in the time with the slow cooker! Looks delish.


allie@sweetpotatobites February 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

I love short ribs – they are one of my favorites! Can you share the risotto recipe as well?


jenna February 1, 2013 at 7:49 am

I need to re-make it and pay attention to what I’m doing so I can write the recipe down accurately. I’ll try to do it next week though!


joelle (on a pink typewriter) February 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

Heavy hand with wine = a-okay here.


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health February 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

I have to agree with the last comment, there is no such thing as too much wine!


Kim @ Soliloquy Of Foods & Such February 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

You had me at Cabernet.


Sasha February 1, 2013 at 10:15 am

I don’t have a crockpot, do you know how can I make this in my dutch oven? What temp and for how long? I’m glueless and this sounds too good not to make! :) Thanks!


Elle February 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I made some last week in my Dutch over, after browning and adding liquid I put them in the oven 350 for 2 hours, then reduced heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.

I can’t wait to try this recipe that way, I don’t have a slow cooker.


Sasha February 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

Thanks so much Elle :)


Sharen February 27, 2013 at 9:28 am

My original recipe was for making short ribs in the oven. Brown the ribs all around, pour off the fat, season with salt & pepper. Add a sliced onion 1 cup of water, cover & bake at 325 for 2 hours (basting occasionally with pan juices. During last 45 minutes add 1 sliced onion, 4 medium potatoes, quartered, 8 small white onion, peeled. During last 15 minutes before meat is done, add 6 – 8 carrots sliced lengthwise and about 3/4 pound of green beans.

Skim fat & thicken with a few Tblsps of flour.

Good luck & enjoy


Peggy November 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

Thank-you so much for a version of short ribs that does not have wine in it as much as a streamlined oven recipe. I think I’ll try yours but combine some of the original techniques like cooking the tomato paste after browning the meat. Thank-you again.


a farmer in the dell February 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

these look SO tender and good!


Michelle February 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm

These look awesome! I just made something like this but with a coffee beer sauce!


Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens) February 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Wow that looks amazing. I never think to cook with red wine…probably bc I have no clue how to use it!


Julie // Bound February 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm

These look so incredibly good, I’m pretty sure my husband would have the same reaction as your fiance. If he can’t propose all over again, perhaps he can bring home some chocolate? And some more wine, because obviously I will have consumed it while making these :)


Caroline L. February 1, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Yum yum yum these look so tender and flavorful!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Oh, this is perfection! Beautiful recipe here!!


Lisa February 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Delicious! My husband would love these…… mmm I would love these!


Sarah February 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

These sound amazing! Think I could sub honey for the brown sugar?


Emily @ Life on Food February 2, 2013 at 3:09 am

Short ribs are my favorite thing to make in the crock pot but they are so rich we only have them for a special treat. These look amazing. Cannot wait to try for Valentine’s Day


Tami@nutmegnotebook February 2, 2013 at 6:23 am

I have never made short ribs but these look very tempting. My dude would be all over these!


Ashley@cupcakesncrunches February 2, 2013 at 6:26 am

I laughed out loud when I read, “dude food”- hilarious!

I’ve never attempted short ribs, but this looks incredible.


Ashley February 2, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I made this today and the husband was VERY happy! Delicious!! :)

Excellent jenna!


Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen February 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

I woke up this morning thinking that I wanted to make short ribs today, and so excited to find your recipe! Everything is simmering away in the slow cooker and the kitchen smells amazing. Can’t wait to eat them later!


Aimee February 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I made these today. The sauce was a little thin for my taste and it’s far too much prep work for a slow cooker meal– if I’m trying to put something together in the morning with the crockpot, I don’t want to spend ages browning beef and reducing sauce. I think this would be better braised in a dutch oven some weekend where you’re puttering around at home reading a novel or something. The flavor was great, though– I know you’re working for Barefoot but man, going up even to an $8-$10 bottle of cab is worth it, flavor-wise.


Sarah February 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

Just put ribs in slow cooker now. Smells delicious and perfect for a wintry day. Thanks for the great recipe. I love your blog. :)


richard February 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

i made this for superbowl half time dinner. my wife loved it.

i added flour before liquids. no lumps that way.



Faith February 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

These look amazing! Is the flour just to thicken the liquid? Can I leave it out or should I substitute arrowroot?


jenna February 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

I would substitute arrowroot — it is used to thicken :)


Diana February 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Do you think you could do all the prep work (browning, sauce) the night before and then start the crock pot in the morning, or would that ruin the flavor/textures?


jenna February 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I wouldn’t because then you are letting partially cooked meat sit in the fridge overnight, which may not be the best idea. For this specific recipe, I’d highly recommend browning the meat and making the sauce immediately before placing in the slow cooker.


jill February 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I’d like to know how you got the ribs into such small segments. The bone is quite large and no knife I own would go through that to make them smaller like your finished picture shows.


jenna February 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hmm…that’s actually how I bought them! They were already in the small segments. I would ask your butcher to do it for you or if you’ve already bought the ribs, do they fit in the crock pot? You could brown the entire rack at once then place the whole thing into the slow cooker. At the end of eight hours, it should definitely separate.


jill February 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Really? The picture of the ingredients with the meat in the package from safeway looks like they are much longer. How odd. Thanks for the reply. I know bryan’s will prepare them how I want.


Lori October 7, 2013 at 5:09 am

They “shorten up” while cooking. They don’t look like that raw. Even though I do love wine, I feel these would have been better with more broth and less wine.


Stacey February 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hi! Looks wonderful, as per usual. How is Barefoot for drinking? I have zero opposition to using cheap wine while cooking, but haven’t ever tried drinking Barefoot. I’m by no means a wine snob, but was curious as to what you think!


Katie February 11, 2013 at 7:33 am

I made this recipe last night, and it was absolutely delicious! I added mushrooms, which I would highly recommend if you like them. Easy prep, made the house smell great all day, and a very enjoyable meal!


Nancy B February 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

Made this Sunday night – YOWZA!!! So good!!! Will definintely stay in the crock pot rotation


Jill February 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Finally made this and WOW! Might be the best dish I’ve ever made! I only had a little over 2 lbs of short ribs so there was quite a bit of sauce, but that was not a problem, the sauce is amazing! Added the flour before the liquids and had no issues with lumps. Served it over risotto and it was delicious. I do think mashed potatoes might be even better because they will soak up more of the cabernet sauce. Thank you so much for this recipe!


Meredith March 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I made this dinner for the hubby and I last week. It was INCREDIBLE. My hubby had what I described as a “foodgasm.” The meat is so tender and falls apart with a fork. The liquid makes a delicious gravy! The leftovers also heat up very well! Plus, my house smelled absolutely amazing with the short ribs cooking all day in the slow-cooker! I’m going to use this recipe the next time I have guests over for dinner :)


Stephanie March 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

i made them this morning and omg i could take a bath in that sauce!!! so delicious i doubled the recipe for guests


Heidi April 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

These look delicious! I would love to see your recipe for Parmesan risotto too!


Stevie April 26, 2013 at 6:37 am

I had to use Merlot because I forgot to buy Cabernet. It is cooking right now, so we will see how it turns out. Smells Great!!!


lagatta à montréal August 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

This looks lovely, and I think it would also be good with a bottle of good beer. Personally, I’d serve them atop a bed of polenta. Thanks!

It is important to brown them first, for flavour and texture but also because beef ribs tend to be rather fatty. You need some fat for the tenderness, but too much can be a bit off-putting, and “heavy in the stomach”.

Living in Québec, I’d be inclined to sub maple syrup for the sugar. Yes, it is much cheaper here, but wine is cheaper in California. As for Barefoot, it is a perfectly decent cheap wine, but too sweet for my taste, as a drink. The sweetness would be good in this recipe though.


Stevie September 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

Would stew meat work well with the cabernet sauce? Would you cook it dor the same amount of time in the crock pot?


Meg Jones | The Spatularette October 2, 2013 at 5:37 am

Hi Jenna! I wanted to let you know I made this yesterday and it turned out great! I actually used a roast instead of short ribs bc that’s what was on sale :). I thickened up that delicious sauce a bit and served it over garlic mashed potatoes. It was a weekend meal that can be put together in week night time! Great recipe!!


Erin S October 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I made these today and they are amazing. I followed the recipe exactly besides adding some herbs to the browning process. I don’t usually care for celery or shallots but they were both great in the sauce. Highly recommend trying this recipe.


SLB October 7, 2013 at 5:34 am

This recipe was out of this world. The only thing I did different was used merlot instead of cabernet, just because that’s what I had on hand, but WOW, I ate enough for four people! I’ve always been skeptical about browning meat before the crockpot because I never thought it made a difference, but I’ve officially been converted. You get the crispy exterior and the meat literally melts in your mouth. Seriously, I cannot gush over this recipe enough! Yum!!


Kelly October 18, 2013 at 2:17 am

We LOVED these!! I made this thinking it would be dinner for 2 nights and we ate almost all of it in one sitting. I added carrots in the last hour so we had some vegetables with dinner. That is the only change I made. Served with garlic mashed potatoes. DELICIOUS. (the meat fell off the bone coming out of the crock pot, so mine did not look like the picture, but tasted like a million bucks!)


Amy October 25, 2013 at 7:49 am

I have company that is coming and my sister in law in allergic to tomatos. Can I omit the tomato paste? or will it ruin the recipe.


jenna October 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

Nope, you can omit!


Peggy November 30, 2013 at 8:48 am

Tomato paste is used to add a depth of flavor to the sauce. According to America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) other potentials to replace it because they contain glutamates giving the umami effect would include: soy sauce, anchovies and mushrooms. My husband hates mushrooms and soy sauce if he knows they are there but I have used the anchovy technique (tube version like the tomato paste) and it works nicely in other recipes. Sometimes I use both it and the tomato paste depending on the recipe if the tomatoes make sense and sometimes they don’t but the anchovies are strictly a savory background flavor. 1-2 TBS in a bot of stew or equivalent, try less if you are afraid of it, just be conscious of vegetarian/vegan eaters if it is a non-meat dish to start with.


Meredith November 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

YUM! I just made these to eat while watching football…huge hit!! My Crock-Pot is large and runs very hot, so I was able to cook these on high for a little over 5 hours. I served them along side baked risotto with peas & spinach and roasted brussel sprouts! Thanks for the recipe!!


Jill November 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I cooked this last night and the person I made it for said they were the best short ribs he has ever had- ‘restaurant worthy’!


Susie November 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm

This was absolutely incredible!!!!! I will do this again and again and again.


Mark December 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

Great recipe. If you ever want to mix it up, try substituting the wine for port. Great stuff!


Justeen January 16, 2014 at 5:55 am

I made this just before the holidays, but completely forgot to report how incredible it was! We served it over mashed potatoes. This is a great recipe to have for a special dinner or when you want to impress!


J February 10, 2014 at 10:37 am

Thank you for this!!!

Do you think I could double or triple the recipe (to serve at a dinner party)? I am wondering about the cooking time in the crockpot – still 7 to 8 hours on high, or would I have to add more time?


jenna February 10, 2014 at 11:53 am

I’d stick to 8 hours – just make sure you can fit everything in your crock pot before you start!


Meredith February 26, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I love this recipe! I also want to try doubling it for a dinner party, so please post and let me know how it worked out (my crock pot is huge, so I think I can layer everything). Thanks!!!


SNP February 15, 2014 at 10:05 am

These were absolutely delicious. Perfect snow day meal!


T February 17, 2014 at 8:52 am

I made this and everyone LoVed it!!! I did have a lot of liquid left over but I froze it thinking I can make this recipe again and just have to brown the meat and put in the crockpot with the already prepared liquid. Thoughts if that would work?


Christine March 8, 2014 at 8:27 am

Making these for tonight’s dinner. They smell amazingly yummy!


Rebekah July 22, 2014 at 9:58 am

Amazing!! If I use boneless ribs, would the cooking time differ by much?? Any help please!!


Betsey October 30, 2014 at 6:22 am

Jenna – I just made this for dinner last night and it was AMAZING!! I got up at 7AM to do the prep before leaving for work, then left it in the crock pot on low (then warm) until we ate it a 8PM last night with mashed potatoes and asparagus. This is definitely going to be a new go-to for me!


anne December 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I made this last night after reviewing a lot of short ribs on pinterest. These smelled delish as they were cooking. They were so tender and fell off the bone. We loved the flavor of the sauce. The brown sugar made it. I think next time I will make it ahead and put it in the frig to skim off some of the fat, then reheat the next day. Unfortunately there weren’t any leftovers. Great comfort food served over smashed red potatoes that I boiled.


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