Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs Recipe

Last Update: February 25, 2023

When it comes to short ribs, the goal is tender, juicy meat that falls right off the bone. Well, there’s an easy way to achieve that transcendent, melt-in-your-mouth texture—make it in a slow cooker. Here’s a recipe that’s intensely savory with a bright, fresh finish from lemon zest and basil.

Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
Freshly ground pepper 
2 large red onions, cut into wedges
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
3 bay leaves 
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes 
4 1/2 cups beef bone broth
Small handful basil leaves
Zest of 2 lemons
Large-flake sea salt

Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper and brown well, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until golden.

Add onion, garlic, and ribs into a slow cooker along with the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, vinegar, tomatoes, and broth. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours, until the beef is tender.

To serve, strain the pan juices and skim the fat from the surface. Pour into a saucepan and simmer over high heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Serve ribs with sauce spooned over and garnished with basil leaves, lemon zest, and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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