Boneless Beef Short Rib Recipe (Mississippi-Style Without Packaged Mixes)

4.67 from 6 votes
5 hours 30 minutes
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In this slow cooker version of the classic Mississippi pot roast, this boneless beef short rib recipe is made without processed, packaged mixes and the stick of butter.  However, they’re just as flavorful and with buttery tenderness! Mashed turnips or fried cabbage are perfect on the side!

Photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs on white platter garnished with peppers and parsley.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

I had never heard of Mississippi (or, as they say around here…. Miss-sippi) Pot Roast until a year ago when I saw it on another blogger’s website, even though for the past 25 years, I have lived only three miles from the Mississippi state line.  The pepperoncini in the roast recipe intrigued me because I LOVE pepperoncini and anything pickled.

I didn’t love all the processed packaged mixes I saw in the recipe because I try to keep my usage of these items to a minimum.  The original also calls for a stick of butter!!

Then, a client of mine asked me to make it.  I made it according to the classic recipe but found the saltiness overwhelming. Thankfully, they enjoyed it.  Because my clients want food that’s as “clean” as possible, I devised a less “processed” version of this classic Mississippi pot roast where beef wasn’t smothered with packaged mixes.

Here it is!  The famous Mississippi pot roast done as a boneless beef short rib recipe–without packaged mixes!  And without a stick of butter!

Close-up photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs Without Packaged Mixes on white platter.

Origin of Mississippi Pot Roast:

Mississippi Pot Roast was created by a home cook from Ripley, Mississippi, in the early 2000s.  She set out to recreate a chuck roast recipe her aunt made.  Her family raved about her version, which led to it being published in a church cookbook.  That was followed by someone doing a blog post; the rest is history. It caught fire all over the internet.

How to Make a Mississippi-Style Boneless Beef Short Rib Recipe:

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this boneless beef short rib recipe, along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Ranch Dressing Mix Substitutes: Because fresh is always better, instead of packaged ranch dressing mix, which typically has dried onion, garlic, dill, and parsley, I use FRESH:
    • Onion
    • Garlic
    • Parsley (added at the end)
    • I didn’t see the need to add dill as the amount in a package of ranch dressing mix is so tiny and dill with beef seems wrong.
  • Packaged Gravy Mix Substitutes: Instead of packaged gravy mix in this boneless beef short rib recipe, I use:
    • Beef broth
    • Soy sauce
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • The soy sauce and Worcestershire will give you the depth and saltiness of the packaged gravy mix.
  • Pepperoncini and Cherry Peppers: Some little pickled peppers can be quite hot, so select according to your tolerance.
  • The Beef: Instead of a chuck roast (which is traditionally used), I used boneless beef short ribs here.  I love them more than a chuck roast because all the connective tissue is more evenly distributed throughout boneless beef short ribs.  That connective tissue will melt away and produce a beautiful fall-apart result.  No butter needed, but beautiful, buttery beef short ribs! Boneless beef short ribs are cut from the chuck and are rib meat separated from the bone.  A butcher can cut them for you.  I usually get them at Costco.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Season the boneless beef short ribs with salt if desired (remember many of the ingredients are salty) and with black pepper and brown the short ribs in batches in a skillet with some oil.  (I wait until the dish is finished to add salt.  The Worcestershire and soy sauce will add a fair amount of saltiness.)
  • When browning the boneless beef short ribs, toss the onions and cook briefly to remove the raw edge.
Photo of browned boneless short ribs in black skillet.
  • Combine everything, including the pepperoncini and cherry peppers, in a 6-8 quart slow cooker.
  • Cook for 5 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW, then thicken the gravy.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning of the ribs with salt and pepper if desired.
Photo of short ribs in slow cooker before cooking.

How to thicken sauces and gravy in a slow cooker:

There are three ways to thicken sauces in a slow cooker:

With all-purpose flour:

  • This can be done right in the slow cooker.  This method works best if you’ve cooked the ribs on high because you’ll already have a good simmer.  One disadvantage is that your sauce will be lighter in color.
  • When there are about 45 minutes left, remove 1 cup of the braising liquid. Let it cool for 15 minutes, then mix in 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and whisk until smooth.
  • Add it to the slow cooker in 1-2 tablespoon increments around the meat in various places, stirring well until it’s incorporated.  Don’t just drop the whole thing in at once.
  • Continue cooking uncovered on high for approximately 30 minutes until the gravy thickens.  Then, cover it and let it sit for a while; it will continue to thicken as it stands.

With cornstarch (gluten-free thickening):

  • If you’ve cooked the ribs on low, you’re better off using cornstarch than flour because getting the slow cooker up to a higher simmer will take a while.  Cornstarch needs higher heat to thicken.  An advantage of using cornstarch is that it doesn’t change the color of your gravy.  A disadvantage is your sauce will be gelatinous when cooled.
  • Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a platter, then tent to keep it warm.
  • Transfer the liquid to a saucepan.  You’ll have approximately 4 cups of gravy/sauce and need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of liquid.
  • Take 1-2 tablespoons of the gravy/sauce, put it in a small bowl, add an equal amount of cold water, and stir in the cornstarch.
  • Add it to the gravy/sauce in the saucepan, bring it to a boil, and cook until it thickens, then pour the mixture over the beef short ribs on the platter.

The third (and my secret way):

  • Use Cornaby’s E-Z Gel (Affiliate Link):  It’s pricier than flour or cornstarch, but I’ve been using it in my personal chef business and I love it!  It’s gluten-free, taste-free, does not affect the color and you can thicken hot or cold liquids just by sprinkling it on.

Then….

  • Sprinkle on the parsley… and friends!

Close-up photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs Without Packaged Mixes being lifted out from slow cooker.

Close-up photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs on white platter with meat fork.

Delicious, slightly spicy, meaty goodness you’ll love to serve family and friends!

Photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs on white platter with meat fork.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are boneless beef ribs the same as short ribs?

Boneless beef short ribs are cut from the chuck and consist of rib meat separated from the bone. Conventional short ribs are typically on the bone and are cut from the front of the cow from the brisket, chuck, plate or ribs.

Can you cook boneless beef short ribs like steak?

Yes, it’s possible. Cooked to medium-rare and thinly sliced across the grain, it will have a slight chew, similar to a flank steak.

Do boneless beef short ribs cook faster?

They will if you cook them like a steak to medium-rare then thinly since against the grain. If you braise them as in this delicious Mississippi pot roast-style recipe, they’ll take about as long as beef short ribs on the bone.

Why are my boneless beef short ribs tough?

They most likely were not cooked enough or at too high a temperature. Give them some more time–low and slow is always the way to go.

Can I make this boneless beef short rib recipe in an Instant Pot?

Yes, but low and slow cooking, either in a slow cooker or in the oven, is my preferred method for most cuts of meat.

Photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs in green bowl with mashed potatoes garnished with parsley.

Enjoy!

Close-up photo of Mississippi-Style Boneless Beef Short Ribs in green bowl.

Serve Mississippi Beef Short Ribs with:

More great beef short rib recipes!

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Mississippi-Style Boneless Short Ribs Without Packaged Mixes - Overhead close-up shot on white platter

Boneless Beef Short Rib Recipe (Mississippi-Style Without Packaged Mixes)

4.67 from 6 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
In this slow cooker version of the classic Mississippi pot roast, this boneless short rib recipe is made without processed, packaged mixes and the stick of butter.  However, they're just as flavorful and with buttery tenderness!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Course Beef
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 1097 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoon canola oil - as needed
  • 3-4 pounds boneless beef short ribs - or equivalent chuck roast or bone-in short ribs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion - cut into chunks
  • 12 cloves garlic - sliced
  • 8 pepperoncini from a jar
  • 6 cherry peppers from a jar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour - for thickening
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt - if needed

Instructions
 

  • Combine the beef broth, soy sauce and Worcestershire in a slow cooker and preheat on high.
  • Heat canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan.
  • Season short ribs with black pepper and place in the skillet. Brown well on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Place in the slow cooker.
  • Add the onion to the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes just to take the raw edge off. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add the garlic, pepperoncini and cherry peppers.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 1/4 hours.
  • Remove approximately 1 cup of the cooking liquid and place in a bowl. Let it cool for 15 minutes.
  • Add the flour to the liquid and stir well to combine to create a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the slow cooker in approximately 2 tablespoon increments in various places around the meat, stirring it in carefully to evenly distribute it.
  • Cook UNCOVERED on high for an additional 30 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes so the gravy continues to thicken.
  • Taste and add salt if desired.

Notes

TO THICKEN WITH CORNSTARCH:  
  • If you’ve cooked the ribs on low, I recommend using cornstarch because getting the slow cooker up to a higher simmer will take a while and cornstarch needs higher heat to thicken.  An advantage of using cornstarch is that it doesn’t change the color of your gravy.  A disadvantage is your gravy will be gelatinous when cooled.
  • Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a platter then tent to keep it warm.
  • Transfer the liquid to a saucepan.  You’ll have approximately 4 cups of gravy/sauce and will need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of liquid.
  • Remove 1-2 tablespoons of the gravy/sauce to a small bowl, add an equal amount of cold water, then stir in the cornstarch.
  • Add it to the gravy/sauce in the saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until it thickens.
MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Cool and refrigerate.  Reheat in the slow cooker or in a Dutch oven in the oven at 350 degrees.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly then portion out as desired.  Place in airtight containers and freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator then reheat in the oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 1097kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 83g | Fat: 74g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 42g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 302mg | Sodium: 2599mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my family who is visiting from out of town. It was a unanimous 5 star rating. Like – lick the plate delicious. I served it with baked mashed potatoes and string beans. No need for a knife as these ribs were so tender they fell apart. This will be added to the top recipes in our family favorites. Thanks for making a healthier version of Mississippi pot roast.

  2. Were the short ribs you used cut “flanken style?” They look longer than the short ribs I bought.
    I may just use more pepperoncini when I make the recipe. I guess it doesn’t matter if the cherry peppers are sweet or hot. I’ve had a little trouble finding them.

    1. Hi, Joan, Thanks so much for your question. I’ve never seen the flanken-style around where I live. I used “boneless short ribs,” which I know is an oxymoron. They’re available at Costco or your butcher may be able to cut them. Bone-in short ribs will work just fine for this recipe as will a chuck roast like the original Mississippi pot roast. Thanks again so much and hope you enjoy!

      1. Actually, if regular boneless ribs look like thick, square pieces of beef with fat, my Costco sells the regular ones. .. I assume flanken means Korean Style? I don’t think they’d work for the recipe at all, too thin.

        Your Costco might have both, ask them, or try a different Costco. I find that smaller Costco’s don’t have as much “specialty” stuff in general, and don’t have the roof or too many different cuts!

        Can’t wait to try these!

      2. Hi, Antonia, Thanks for your question and information. Flanken-style is often used in Korean cooking. You’re fine with this recipe if you use the boneless or bone-in. You can also use a chuck roast. Thanks again!

  3. As someone born and raised in Mississippi, I can confirm that this is extremely close to how we make boneless short ribs. Both recipes are great in their own way, but yours is slightly better with the usage of ultra-gel. Great job, Carol!

    P.S. This goes well with Rice Pilaf or a baked vegetable ratatouille as well.

  4. I made this for dinner tonight and my whole family loved it! We will definitely be making this again. And again and again and again. Thanks for a great and super easy recipe!

  5. Wow, the pictures here are mouthwatering, especially with the mashed potatoes! I’ve never heard of Mississippi Pot Roast, but it looks really great and I’m always looking for a great slow cooker recipe..will be trying this!

  6. Per your suggestion, I purchased a bag of the Ultra Gel. How would you suggest using it if you have cooked the meat on low or on high in the slow cooker?

    1. Hi, Traci, Thanks so much! The really great thing about Ultra Gel is it doesn’t matter what temperature you cooked the pot roast at; you can even thicken cold things with it. When it’s finished, simply sprinkle it over the top in 1-2 tablespoon increments. If you add too much too fast, it can lump up on you but those will go away with more stirring. Let it sit a bit on the top then stir it in and wait several more minutes to add more to desired consistency; the thickener keeps working. If you add too much, there’s no going back without adding more water or broth to thin it. Been there and done that when I’ve been in a hurry. Patience is important. Hope you like it! It’s an indispensable item for me in my personal chef business. I used to use Signature Secrets until King Arthur bought it and the price went insane. Thanks again!

  7. Carol, I am so thankful to have found this recipe. I made a Mississippi Roast recipe using the packets, and my entire family was trying to figure out what the point was. It was too salty. Each bite had to be diluted with mashed potatoes. I managed to salvage the leftover roast by boiling it in water to remove the salt. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks amazing, and it definitely won’t be too salty.

    1. Thanks, Patti! I like to add salt as I cook so it really seasons the dish but I swear those packets are half salt! Hope you enjoy and thanks again!

  8. This recipe has me drooling on my keyboard! I’ve never heard of Mississippi Pot Roast either but the really sounds good. I’m not a fan of packaged mixes either so your combination of flavours sounds perfect to me. And pepperoncini?! I’ve got to give this a try.

    1. Hi, Bernice, Thanks so very much! I know, right? Apparently, it was crazy popular on the internet for a long time so I feel a little late to the party. However, no time like the present to create a cleaner version! Thanks again and hope you enjoy!