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This Crockpot red wine braised short ribs recipe is the ultimate cold weather comfort food! It has fall-off-the-bone tender ribs with a deep, rich, and flavorful red wine sauce.

Try my Sunday Pot Roast or Crockpot Beef Stew Recipe next.

a bowl with crockpot red wine braised short ribs over mashed potatoes with a fork

Why you’ll love it

Are these ever good! Slow cooking short ribs makes them so juicy, so it’s one of my favorite ways to cook ribs. Braising beautifully tenderizes the beef and locks in flavor. The red wine sauce is made with everyday ingredients, and you’ll look forward to leftovers.

These Crockpot braised beef short ribs are a special meal, but it’s actually really straightforward to make them. It’s the ideal recipe to prep on a lazy weekend morning. You’ll be rewarded with the wonderful aroma of these short ribs while they’re cooking!

What you’ll need

  • Beef short ribs – they’re ideal for slow cooking. Read on for tips.
  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Carrot, onion, garlic – this trio is a traditional aromatic base
  • Tomato paste – another layer of rich, concentrated taste
  • Dry red wine – merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Côtes du Rhône, pinot noir, or malbec are my recommendations
  • Worcestershire sauce – one of my go-to savory flavor enhancers
  • Seasoning – my blend is a delicious balanced mixture of brown sugar, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. It is VERY important to adequately salt this recipe!
  • Thyme – it’s a classic herb to use in this kind of dish
  • Cornstarch – to thicken the sauce

What are short ribs?

  • They come from the brisket, chuck, plate, or rib areas of the animal. They’re called “short” because the full length of the rib is not included.
  • Braising (browned first at a high temperature, then simmered in a liquid) is a great method of cooking because short ribs generally need time to make the meat tender.
  • You may need to tell the butcher that you want them cut into 2″ pieces.
ingredients for slow cooker red wine braised short ribs in prep bowls

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

How to make Crockpot red wine braised short ribs

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

browning short ribs in a skillet then sauteing onions and carrots

Season the meat with salt & pepper. Working in two batches, sear the ribs in the olive oil until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate. Sauté the carrots and onions until lightly browned.

adding tomato paste and seasonings to the skillet and then transferring contents to a slow cooker

Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook until fragrant. Transfer to your Crockpot. Add the wine, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and thyme. Stir, then add the ribs in a uniform layer.

adding a cornstarch slurry to a slow cooker with red wine braised short ribs

Cook on low or high depending on preference until the ribs are done. Skim the fat off the surface. Make a cornstarch slurry, stir it in, then cook for a few more minutes to activate it. Taste, and add extra salt & pepper if needed.

Pro tip

Don’t skip the searing step. Yes, it’s more work than throwing everything straight into your slow cooker, but it’s well worth it for all the extra flavor.

Substitutions and variations

  • These are classic flavors, so I recommend trying it as written the first time you make it.
  • You could substitute 1/2 the wine with beef broth, but make sure to reduce the salt quantity if you go that route.
  • If you don’t have any fresh thyme, you could leave it out, but I like the subtle flavor it adds.
  • Here is the oven version: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs.

What to serve with braised short ribs

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  • Reheat slowly over a low heat. My preference is in a covered saucepan.
  • You can freeze these braised short ribs for up to 3 months.
a slow cooker with red wine braised short ribs and a serving spoon

Please leave a star rating and review below if you made these braised beef short ribs in red wine sauce! Tag me on Instagram with any of my recipes that you make.

a bowl with crockpot red wine braised short ribs over mashed potatoes with a fork
4.93 from 13 votes

Crockpot Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

This Crockpot red wine braised short ribs recipe is the ultimate cold weather comfort food! It has fall-off-the-bone tender ribs with a deep, rich, and flavorful red wine sauce.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 hours 20 minutes
Total: 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3.5-4 pounds beef short ribs (bone-in)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large carrot peeled & chopped finely
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt see note
  • Pepper to taste
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Season the short ribs with salt & pepper.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat, and once the pan is hot, sear half the short ribs for about 3-4 minutes/side or until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate and then repeat for the second batch. The ribs will likely release excess fat, and if they do, spoon some of the fat out, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons in the skillet.
  • Add the carrots and onions to the skillet and sauté for 6-8 minutes or until they start to lightly brown.
  • Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for about a minute, then transfer the skillet mixture to your slow cooker.
  • Add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and thyme to the Crockpot. Give it a stir. Add the short ribs in as even of a layer as possible (some will likely stick out and that's ok). Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or 5-6 hours on high.
  • Once the ribs are done, skim the fat off the surface (I just use a spoon to do this… don't worry about getting it all). Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until you've got a smooth mixture, then stir it into the Crockpot. Turn the heat to high, cover it again, and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up a bit. Add extra salt & pepper if needed.


  • If you’re not using sea salt or kosher salt, you may want to start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more once you’ve tasted it. This recipe needs enough salt to bring out the flavors, so definitely don’t under-salt this one.
  • I prefer cooking these on low for the best results, but high works if you’re in a time crunch.
  • Serves 6+ depending on how much people eat. 
  • This recipe has been tweaked from its original version that was published in 2017. If you love that version, you can still access it here.


Calories: 501kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 114mg, Sodium: 624mg, Potassium: 907mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2753IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on February 6, 2017. It’s been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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4.93 from 13 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Julie says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing! Made for Father’s Day and all 6 of us loved it. Will make this again for sure.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Julie!! 😀 Thanks so much for your review!

  2. Amber Wright says:

    5 stars
    I made this for my family and they loved it! I’m excited to try more of the recipes from this blog. Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Amber!! You are very welcome! 😀 Thank you so much for your review! Let me know what else you try.

  3. Chippy says:

    2 thumbs down Natasha
    Too cheewy
    Rethink this

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! How long did you cook them for? This recipe has worked for me and other readers since it was first published in 2017. Can you please provide me with some more details?

  4. Bethany says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic! The house smelled incredible all afternoon and the meal was restaurant quality. Perfect with mashed potatoes. Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome, Bethany!

  5. janae nute says:

    Can I do this w boneless short ribs?

    1. Natasha says:

      I think that should be fine! 🙂

  6. Iris says:

    Can I substitute the whole bottle of wine with half wine half beef broth ? I am not a red wine drinker but know it is needed for the taste . Please let me know 💜

    1. Natasha says:

      I think that should work. Let me know! 🙂

  7. Kristina Peirce says:

    5 stars
    If anyone asks if they can use country-style boneless pork ribs, the answer is YES. I printed this recipe earlier this year and when I found myself with loads of country-style ribs to use I thought to use this recipe…without actually reading it was for beef short ribs!! I figured it out after everything was prepped so no stopping. Otherwise, I followed the recipe except for cooking the carrots, onions, garlic, and tomato paste off in the pan with the rib juices and a bit more olive oil. I used Apothic Red blend wine. And I had to cook it for less time; I did 4:30 hours on high, 1:30 hours on low until the meat was stained dark red and falling apart. My husband and I both like this better than our usual beef stew. Really Amazing!!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s great to know! I’m so glad it worked out! 🙂