Slow cooking beef short ribs will render them incredibly tender, and when they’re cooked down in a bright and vibrant tomato sauce, the result is a zesty yet smooth short rib ragu.
It’s a perfect recipe for busy weeknights- you just throw everything in the cooker and come back when it’s ready!
Serve this delicious sauce over a hearty pasta with a big leafy salad and garlic bread on the side, ready to sop up any sauce left at the bottom of your bowl- you won’t want one bite to go to waste with this slow cooker short rib ragu!
In the video accompanying this recipe, I used bone-in beef ribs, but you can also use boneless short ribs. If you’re cooking with a full set of ribs, the bones are big and easy to pull out after the meat cooks down.
With short ribs, the bones are quite small, so I’d recommend using boneless short ribs in that instance, so you’re not accidentally crunching down on a missed piece of bone.
The sauce is one I’ve honed slowly over the years, and my secret to a big flavor is from blending the onions and garlic in the blender or food processor ahead of time.
It may seem like an extra step, but it adds great flavor while not compromising on the texture of the sauce- and it’s a lot easier to chop, too!
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This tasty sauce also relies on a mixture of different tomato products.
I love using whole-cooked plum tomatoes in a slow-cooked sauce, as they break down during the cooking process but impart a ton of big tomato flavor.
Pomi is my favorite choice of strained tomatoes, but you can use canned crushed tomatoes if you’re unable to find the Pomi brand.
Another thing I love about this particular recipe is that it freezes incredibly well. I transfer any leftover sauce into Soupercubes or U-Konserve containers and they’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months with a tightly-sealed lid.
Season this easy sauce with salt and pepper, and some oregano- and you’ve got yourself a great Sunday sauce for cold days!
Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu
- 1 large yellow onion peeled
- 8 garlic clove peeled
- 2 26 ounce boxes Pomi strained tomatoes
- 1 28- ounce canned whole peeled tomatoes
- ¼ cup canned tomato paste
- 4 pounds boneless beef short ribs or bone-in beef rib rack
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- salt to taste
- olive oil to taste
- grated parmesan cheese
- Blend onions and garlic in blender or food processor and transfer to a resealable bag or container. Add oregano to container.
- Brown ribs in olive oil and salt as in instructions. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a resealable bag or container.
- Store prepped ingredients in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Prepare From Prepped
- Place the blended onions, browned ribs, and remaining ingredients (except the cheese) in a 7-quart slow cooker and secure the lid.
- Cook for 6 hours on high, 8 hours on low.
- When done, remove the short rib bones from the slow cooker and discard.
- Use forks to shred the remaining beef.
- Top with cheese, if desired, and serve over pasta.
Make From Fresh
- Blend the onions and garlic in a food processor or blender until combined. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan.
- Season the ribs with salt liberally, then sear each side in the pan.
- Remove from the stovetop and add to the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including the blended onions and garlic, and cook 6 hours on high, 8 hours on low.