Slow-Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs for Two

by Angie Anew on February 13, 2012

To say that the members of my family have divergent food preferences would be an understatement. I prefer to eat low-carb and gluten-free. My husband avoids beef and pork, but eats chicken and fish. My older son is a lacto-carbotarian. And the baby? He’ll eat anything. So when I say that these slow-cooker red wine braised short ribs serve two, in my house that just might mean me and my 15-month old! (Don’t worry, the hubby will get his favorite chicken piccata on Valentine’s Day.)

If you and your love are both meat-eaters, this is an easy dish to prepare for a romantic evening at home. Because it’s a slow-cooker recipe, most of the work happens while you’re doing other things. Simply dish up the ribs with some mashed roasted cauliflower or mashed potatoes when the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. A side of sautéed greens would be nice as well.

I adapted a recipe from Good Housekeeping. Like many better slow-cooker recipes, it calls for browning the meat in a pan before placing it in the slow-cooker.

Then you sauté onions, garlic and thyme in the browning pan before adding red wine and tomato paste. Then you can pour everything into the slow-cooker and forget about it for several hours.

The prep work at the beginning takes a little time, but it isn’t difficult and makes for a better end result.

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Adapted from Good Housekeeping


  • 1.5 pound(s) bone-in beef short ribs
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 bag (8 ounces) baby carrots
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  1. Heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and then arrange in hot pan. Cook ribs about 10 minutes, or until well browned on all sides.
  2. Meanwhile, place carrots at the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow-cooker.
  3. Transfer ribs to slow cooker on top of carrots. Discard drippings in skillet. (NOTE: I had very little drippings, so I left them. I even needed to use a little clarified butter to get the onions started.) Reduce heat to medium; add onion to skillet and cook about 8 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine and heat to boiling over high heat, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Remove skillet from heat and stir in tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Pour wine mixture over ribs and carrots in slow cooker. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low setting as manufacturer directs, 8 to 10 hours (or on high setting 4 to 5 hours) or until meat is fork-tender and falling off the bones.
  5. With tongs, transfer ribs to deep platter; discard bones if you like. With spoon, skim fat from sauce in slow cooker and discard. Spoon vegetables and sauce over ribs.
  6. Serve with mashed roasted cauliflower, mashed potatoes or even egg noodles. A side of greens would be nice, too!

NOTES: The original recipe calls for the addition of parsnips and turnips. I omitted them, since I was already serving the dish with a side of mashed roasted cauliflower and sautéed greens. Check out the original recipe if you want more root vegetables or a batch that serves 4.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering what my hubby and older kiddo ate tonight, here you go:

Jacks frozen cheese pizza, baby! [Sigh.] At least we were ALL happy!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Alissa February 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Yum, can you do this in a dutch oven and just spoon braise for hours?


Angie Anew February 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I’m sure that would work fine, Alissa. When I was searching for recipes (based on the ingredients I had on hand ;) I saw a lot of traditionally braised short rib recipes.


Jill Driscoll February 13, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Can we share crockpot recipes?! My fave “recipe” is a pork butt/shoulder with a jar of Pace picante (apparently, it NEEDS to be Pace according to the friend who gave it to me). Throw them both in the crock pot and hours later, there’s no recognition that it’s just pork and salsa. Get rid of the fat, shred it up, serve with corn tortillas and other fixings… or mostly I just eat it plain. Keep sharing your recipes!


Angie Anew February 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM

That sounds good, Jill! And simple. I need good slow-cooker recipes now that I’m going back to work full-time.


Angie Anew February 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

I’d like to try a slow-cooker Indian dish. Thinking about this one, with some modifications recommended by reviewers.


Joan Y. February 13, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Sounds yummy but not whole 30 approved right? My understanding is you can’t cook with alcohol.


Angie Anew February 13, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Nope, I don’t think this would be Whole 30 approved.


Angie Anew February 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM

You could do it with beef, veal or chicken stock, though!


Alissa February 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Where did you buy your short ribs?


Angie Anew February 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

At Mississippi Market. I bought them before I knew what I’d do with them. Glad I could find a recipe with stuff I already had in the house!


salmon September 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Made this yesterday in the slow cooker and had it tonight for dinner – so delicious I had to come back and thank you! We had a small amount of short ribs and I always worry that making only a fraction of a slow cooker recipe will not work out, so thank you for testing those waters. I used a Cabernet/Syrah blend and added a couple of stalks of celery, in long slices, and a few cremini mushrooms sliced in quarters because they were around …


Angie Anew September 5, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Glad you enjoyed it!


Brian December 15, 2013 at 8:21 AM

just did the preparation stage of this and put it in the crockpot – it looks delicious but I’m concerned; I wasn’t sure how long to let the wine boil for – I ended up with what looks like a very small amount of the red mixture…is that normal? Should I add water or something? Thanks!


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