On The Fly Slower Cooker Braised Short Ribs with Teeny, Tiny Onions

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6-8 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup tiny onions (peeled)
  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cup broth (Beef or Chicken)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add tomato paste and canned tomatoes to slower cooker. Stir.
  2. Peel tiny onions and add to slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle ribs liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. 
  4. Add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  5. Remove ribs and keep warm.
  6. Enjoy 🙂

Who doesn’t love slowly braised, fork tender, melt in your mouth short ribs? If these tasty little suckers weren’t so expensive I would eat them every week. Alas, short ribs can cost you a pretty penny, which is why I only indulge when they are on sale at the store.

Since the temperatures were frigid this morning, I decided that a nice dinner of braised short ribs and polenta would warm me right up. I had not preplanned this dinner, so I had to use the ingredients I had on hand.

I first started with putting 3 tablespoons of tomato paste into the bottom of my slow cooker. I then added one 28 ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes. I squished the tomatoes with my hand to break them apart (which is very zen like and calming).

Clarkys Countryish Short Ribs 1

Next it was time to season the meat. I am a purist and like to use salt & pepper as my only meat seasonings. Liberally season all sides of the ribs. Usually this would be the part where I would take each rib and dredge in flour and then proceed to sear each side in a very hot pan with oil. I was running a little late this morning, so I skipped the step. I promise that saving time on this step does not ruin the quality of your short rib dinner. There is an added layer of yumminess when there is a sear, but since I was running late for work I thought I could forgo that layer today.

Clarkys Countryish Short RIbs 2

As you can also see, I did not have any beef broth on hand in my kitchen. Luckily I had some chicken broth. Broth adds lovely flavor profiles to any slow cooker dish, and I figured for this dinner the chicken broth would suite me just fine.  There are also teeny, tiny onions, which are scrumptious with these ribs. They are a pain in the butt to peel, but I swear, the effort is worth it in the end.

Clarkys Countryish Short Ribs 3

I added 2 cups of the chicken broth and onions into the slow cooker with the tomatoes and gave it a good stir. I then placed each rib in the liquid one by one, making sure each had their own space to braise.

Clarkys Countryish Short Ribs 4

All that was left to do it pop on the top and set this baby to low. The slower and lower you let these cook, the more tender and delicious they become. I set my slow cooker for 8 hours and headed off to work.

Clarkys Countryish Short Ribs 6

8 hours later I come home to the tantalizing site! Took the meat out and put on a plate. The meat had completely disconnected from the bones and was breaking apart as I moved it.

Clarkys Countryish Short Ribs 7

In my cabinet I had some hard polenta with quinoa, so I took that out, sliced it into 1/2 inch think slices and then seared it in my cast iron pan for a few minutes on each side. This gives the polenta a nice, crispy crust and keeping the polenta soft center.

Clarkys Countryish Short Ribs 8

This dinner warmed me up in all the right ways tonight. I know that it wasn’t a “true” short rib recipe as I had to make some shortcuts and substitutions, but the result was still delicious and mouth watering.


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