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.
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
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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