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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
4.92 from 12 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

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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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39 Comments

  1. Chelsea says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was fantastic and couldn’t have been easier. I love your website and recipes.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy to hear that!! Thank you!!

  2. Dita says:

    Hi there ! What can I substitute for wine (Non-alcoholic) ?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Dita! I’ll be honest… the red wine is the main flavor component and helps to tenderize the ribs. I am really hesitant to make any suggestions.. I’d hate to suggest something without testing and have you disappointed. You could try a non-alcoholic red wine if possible (you should be able to buy from a grocery store).

  3. Neil says:

    I made this a few weeks ago mostly following the recipe. I seared in olive oil and butter mixture with garlic added in – and while searing I tossed in some of the red wine along the way. I was having fun. I removed the meat and then sauteed the carrots and onions etc. following the same technique. Put the meat back in, slowly added the wine (2017 Ventoux) and beef stock and paste to bring level up over the meat. Brought to simmer and then super slow and low cooked for 6 hours. My first reaction upon tasting – whatever the word is for food nirvana, this is it! It was absolutely heavenly. About to make it again today. Except no bone in today. And I plan to add celery to my veggie base and fresh oregano and thyme. I have no doubt this will be fantastic. Thank you! A whole nother level of food quality!

    1. Natasha says:

      So glad you liked it, Neil!!

  4. Rochelle says:

    4 stars
    I came across this recipe and like that it was simple and didn’tnt have a ton of ingredients. So I did a few other things to my short ribs. I seasoned them with S&P as well as garlic powder and seared them off. I did them in batches. Also, I didnt have enough carrots(I only had 2 very small ones). I did a rough chop on the carrots and I only added about 4 cloves of garlic. That’s all I had on hand. I didnt have any sherry so i used a cup of red Roscosto and 2 cups of beef stock. I didn’t have any thyme so I left it out. I substituted smoked paprika instead of regular paprika. So far i didnt have to add any additional salt once I added all the other ingredients. Have way they cooking I tasted the broth and it was a little sweet bit had a good beefy flavor. Which I like. Yummy. Towards the end I added the cornstarch and it was amazingly good. Thanks for the recipe. By the way I used a cast iron skillet and cooked the ribs in the oven.

    1. Natasha says:

      I love your take on this recipe! So glad it worked out, Rochelle!

  5. Joleen Barker says:

    Thank you for the recipe. Just wondering some small details before I try it. Any recommendations on a name of red wine specifically that you have made this recipe with? Also, dark or light brown sugar and if it is dark is it packed in the tablespoon?

    Thank you.

    Joleen

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Joleen! I’m afraid I didn’t write down which red wine I used for this recipe – sorry! And it was dark brown sugar that was packed. 😊 Hope you enjoy the recipe!

      1. JOLEEN BARKER says:

        5 stars
        I followed the recipe as you wrote it except for the Thyme. I’m not a fan. The only thing I added to the recipe after reading all the comments was the addition of the beef boulion cube. I needed to use an addition tsp of flour to the liquid to thinken it up to the consistancy I like. It was fabulous. Just in case anyone is curious I used a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon named VIGILANCE from Red Hills Lake County.

        1. Natasha says:

          I am so happy you enjoyed it, Joleen! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  6. Susan says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I made this recipe tonight and it was a big hit. I bought an 8 pack of boneless beef short ribs from Costco. I browned them in a pan with olive oil, then sautéed vidiallia onion and garlic in the pan, transfered it to the slow cooler with 32ounces of organic beef broth and two cups of a Tuscan red wine, added the brown sugar, Worcester sauce, lots Italian seasoning dry mustard and celery salt. It was delicious. Thank you for this fantastic recipe!!

    1. Natasha says:

      So happy you enjoyed it, Susan!

  7. Karen says:

    5 stars
    One lesson I learned a long time ago was to cook with wine you like to drink. For this dish, I used a bottle of Gnarly Head Merlot. (My partner works for the company; lucky us!)

    I had boneless short ribs in my freezer and decided today’s cold spring weather was just right for them as a Sunday dinner. I did make mistakes, and this still turned out great.

    I decided to cook the onion and carrot in the pan I used to sear the short ribs, so I could get the pan juices for flavor. I added a tiny bit more olive oil and some of the wine into the pan, then added the tomato paste, thinking it would be easier to mix it all together in the pan, and add the warm mix to the ribs in the slow cooker. As I started to stir it in, I realized I added the entire can of tomato paste! I scooped out most of it, then added a bit more carrot, onion and garlic, along with the spices, sugar and Worstechire sauce. I didn’t have thyme, so tossed in a sprig of rosemary. I also took note of the prompt to add more salt than usual, and did add some, but not much. At the end, I didn’t have cornstarch (aaagh!), so I mixed a tablespoon of flour to a small bowl of the hot sauce and then added it back into the pot to finish cooking.

    Thank you for the easy recipe! The positive response to the meal made clear that my mistakes were not critical.

    1. Natasha says:

      So glad you liked it! And I’m so glad it turned out. I always improvise while cooking too… it usually works out hehe. And yes, my husband would definitely agree with you about cooking with the wine you drink – he taught me that trick.

  8. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    For Christmas I received an All Clad all in one Browning 7 quart slow cooker ….
    I love to cook so I am leary of slow cooker recipes
    After much research I chose salt and lavenders recipe.
    It is New Years Day …. I have been talking about this recipe for a week !!! After it was all set and cooking in the slow cooker I read this review … my heart dropped
    I wanted it to be perfect …
    I didn’t have any beef broth …
    I decided to put a beef bouillon ( which I NEVER) use
    But after this review I was terrified it would be tasteless ..
    I don’t know if the bouillon made any difference at all
    But this recipe is excellent … meat was perfect and the sauce was restaurant quality .. please don’t let the last review steer you away !!

    1. Natasha says:

      I am so happy to hear that this recipe worked out for you, Barbara, and I really appreciate you leaving a comment here. I think that reviewer’s issue was that she did not use enough salt and possibly wasn’t used to cooking with salt. Some recipes you need to add more than others, often more than you’d think. Bouillon is salty, so that would have played a part, I think. 🙂 Adding beef broth/stock like she mentioned is definitely an option too. Enjoy your new slow cooker!

  9. Natasha says:

    Hi Monica, did you skim the fat off the top, add in the cornstarch, and some extra salt? I just re-read the instructions and ingredients list a few times, and it all seems to reflect how I make them. I’m at work right now, but I will check my written recipe notes again as soon as I get home to see if it’s possible that I missed something. I’m really upset to read this – we really enjoyed the short ribs and I’m now wondering what went wrong here. I feel truly awful if in fact your Valentine’s Day dinner is ruined.

    1. Monica says:

      Thanks for the reply. I added an extra spoon of brown sugar, and more salt and pepper – it’s slightly better. I’m going to add a cup of beef stock later this evening when I decide to reheat to salvage the dish. Please let me know if you find something useful in your notes that differs from your recipe above. Out of curiosity – what wine did you use for this and how much water did you mix in with your cornstarch?

      1. Natasha says:

        Hi Monica, just checked my notes, and they match up with the recipe posted here. I’ve made it with a cabernet sauvignon and a pinot noir before. I use approx. one tablespoon of cold water with the cornstarch. I’ll update the recipe to be more specific. If you don’t mind me asking, did you add the beef stock for additional flavor or because the dish was dry? I’ve seen some recipes for short ribs that use beef stock and some that don’t, so I’m very interested in hearing how it turned out.

        1. Monica says:

          Added 1 cup of beef stock for flavor. Turned out fine in the end.

          1. Natasha says:

            Good to hear!

        2. Monica says:

          Side note: Not sure if you just added this or I missed it when I read it initially – “I did add more salt to this than I normally would to a dish, partially because there’s a whole bottle of wine in there, and it does serve 6+ people.”

          I agree it seemed like a hell of a lot of salt to balance this dish – would be good to revisit this recipe and see how you can better balance it, or an initial amount of salt to begin with so the initial tasting isn’t as off-putting. I think this is why other recipes do have the cup or so of beef stock for flavor to balance the red wine, and also for it’s saltiness factor.

          1. Natasha says:

            Hi Monica, nope you didn’t miss it. I added it after considering your feedback and thinking about when I make the dish so I can point people in the right direction. I wouldn’t say I add a “hell of a lot of salt”, but thanks for your feedback re: the beef broth.

  10. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    Braised short ribs is one of my favorite dishes Natasha! So comforting and perfect for a cold winter night! I’ll need to give your recipe a try!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks, Mary Ann!! I wish I had some left… it’s absolutely frigid out today!