A Slow Cooker Makes Droolworthy Braised Short Ribs Easier Than Ever

Last Update: September 29, 2022

The combination of tender short ribs and creamy mash is a classic—and for good reason. Braising the meat in a slow cooker until it falls off the bone builds incredible flavor. Here, we’ve anchored the dish on a bed of velvety mashed cauliflower for a slightly lighter alternative to traditional spuds.

Braised Short Ribs With Cauliflower Mash

Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours


For the short ribs
A few teaspoons sea salt
6 to 8 short ribs
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 cup bacon, chopped
5 large shallots, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons coconut vinegar, divided
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced ginger
4 cups beef bone broth
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
15 whole cloves

For the cauliflower mash
1 large head cauliflower
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Sea salt
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons ghee
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 cup cream or coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper


Make the ribs
Salt the ribs.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté bacon in ghee to render the fat. When it starts to become crispy and oils have been released, brown ribs in the skillet, working in batches. When ribs have browned on all sides, remove ribs and bacon from the pan and set aside, leaving grease in pan. Turn heat down to medium, add in shallots and let caramelize, stirring occasionally. When shallots have turned golden, pour in 4 tablespoons coconut vinegar, stir, and let slightly evaporate. Quickly stir in garlic, tomato paste, honey, coconut sugar, coconut aminos, mustard, and ginger.

Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Pour in broth and remaining tablespoon of coconut vinegar. Add ribs, bacon, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, cloves, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir, cover, turn slow cooker on, and set timer to cook for at least 5 hours, or up to 8 hours.

Make the cauliflower mash
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break cauliflower into pieces and coat with coconut oil and salt. Place on baking sheet or roasting tray and roast in oven 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and place in bowl of food processor along with garlic, ghee, and onion powder. Process to break up cauliflower into smaller pieces. Pour in cream or coconut milk and process until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the dish
To serve, remove ribs from broth, cut the meat away from the bone, and trim the fat. Strain the braising liquid and discard the solids. Scoop cauliflower mash into the bottom of each bowl, top with meat, and pour strained gravy over top.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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