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Now here's a healthy beef short ribs recipe you can serve to company—even on a holiday. Serve with mashed celeriac or mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and a bold Italian red wine that has a touch of sweetness (think amarone or brunello).

EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2018


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
4 hrs 30 mins

What Are Short Ribs?

Short ribs are ribs (and meat) usually cut from sections towards the front and lower parts of beef cattle. Although you can buy boneless short ribs, they are often sold with the bone attached. The meat attached to the bone can come from the brisket, plate, chuck or rib and can contain less or more fat depending on where it comes from. Short ribs can be cut "flanken style" which includes a thin slice across multiple ribs with meat in between the bones or "English Style" which includes a portion of just one rib with a thicker piece of meat attached. For this recipe, we use bone-in English-style ribs. When shopping for short ribs, look for ribs that have a thick cut of meat attached to the bone with a good meat-to-fat ratio (more meat, less fat).

How to Cook Short Ribs

Most short ribs are cut from larger working muscles which culinarily speaking, means the meat needs to be cooked "low and slow" to allow them to tenderize and pull out the rich, meaty flavor they are prized for. This means barbecue, braising, pressure cooking or slow cooking are the best ways to cook short ribs. In this recipe, we use the slow cooker and a flavorful sauce to make a subtly sweet and savory (and delicious!) short rib dinner. We brown the short ribs on the stove first to bring out the flavor of the meat, then transfer them to the slow cooker. The vegetables and liquid that make up the sauce also are cooked on the stove first to pick up all of the flavors from the pan before heading to the slow cooker. Everything cooks together and in as little as 4 hours, short ribs are fork-tender and ready to enjoy. And don't forget the sauce that's left behind! We thicken the cooking liquid on the stove with a little corn starch so it coats the short ribs easily.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Sprinkle ribs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.

  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garlic and thyme; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vinegar and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid is mostly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and add broth. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

  • Transfer the ribs to a serving platter. Transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the boiling liquid. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the ribs with the gravy and sprinkled with parsley, if desired.


Equipment: 6-qt. or larger slow cooker

Nutrition Facts

1 rib & 1/3 cup gravy
281 calories; protein 20.3g; carbohydrates 13g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 7.9g; fat 15.1g; saturated fat 5.1g; cholesterol 59.4mg; vitamin a iu 89.2IU; vitamin c 3mg; folate 10.3mcg; calcium 30.2mg; iron 2.8mg; magnesium 32.5mg; potassium 513.1mg; sodium 415.6mg.

2 1/2 medium-fat protein, 1 fat, 1/2 vegetable